By Michelle Nahdee, sponsored by the University of Windsor Faculty of Law
Launched in the fall of 2021, the University of Windsor Faculty of Law is now offering a specialization in Indigenous Legal Orders to students successfully completing the mandatory first-year Indigenous Legal Orders course and at least five upper-year courses from a menu of course offerings featuring predominantly Indigenous content while being taught by an Indigenous scholar or Elder. This new innovative program wascreated as part of the planning and development of the Indigenous Legal Orders Institute at Windsor Law.
Since its launch in 2019, the Indigenous Legal Orders Institute has aimed to promote and assist Indigenous Peoples with the revitalization and dissemination of their respective Indigenous legal orders through relationship building, collaboration and re-development using Indigenous and other creative research methods.
“As a team of Indigenous faculty members, we developed this specialization as a way to consolidate and build upon Windsor Law’s Indigenous courses while offering a formal acknowledgment to students who choose to study this area of law that addresses issues across Canada affecting Indigenous Peoples,” said Institute Director and Professor Valarie Waboose. Other founding members of the specialization include Associate Dean (Academic) Dr. Beverly Jacobs, former Windsor Law Professor Jeffery Hewitt (Osgoode Hall Law School), and the Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Committee at Windsor Law.
“At one point, Windsor Law had four Indigenous professors who were all
teaching at least one course they personally developed, plus two courses
that had been offered for credit since the ’90s: Aboriginal Law in Society and the Kawaskimhon Moot,” added Dr. Jacobs.
In addition to Associate Dean Jacobs, Windsor Law’s Indigenous faculty includes Assistant Professors Sylvia McAdam and Valarie Waboose, Ron Ianni Scholar Tasha Beeds, Sessional Instructors Arlene Dodge and Wendy Hill, and Indigenous Legal Studies Coordinator Michelle Nahdee.
For more information about Indigenous Initiatives at Windsor Law, and to learn more about Windsor Law’s Indigenous Legal Orders Specialization, please visit uwindsor.ca/law/Indigenous.
Windsor Law’s Indigenous Legal Studies Coordinator Michelle Nahdee is originally from Walpole Island First Nation and Moravian of the Thames Delaware Nation. She is a single mother of four children and has always had a special interest in Indigenous Legal Orders. When an opportunity became available to join the Windsor Law community, Nahdee was excited to work with the amazing faculty, guest speakers, Elders and the University of Windsor team as a whole. In 2018, Michelle played an integral role in the planning, organization and implementation of the fourth World Indigenous Law Conference in Windsor as the Northern Hosts. This event provided the Windsor Law community the opportunity to bring Indigenous Peoples together from around the world to put Indigenous Legal Orders in action.