Indigenous Law in the World—Research, Pedagogy, and Application


Chancellor Day Hall Maxwell Cohen Moot Court (room 100), 3644 rue Peel, Montreal, QC, H3A 1W9, CA

A talk by Professor Val Napoleon, the Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Law.

Professor Napoleon’s talk will explore how law faculties can incorporate indigenous law into their curricula.

Formal lecture 12:30-13:30, followed by discussion 13:30-14:00.

For more information, contact Professor Hoi Kong (hoi.kong [at]

About the speaker

Val Napoleon was appointed Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the Faculty of Law, University of Victoria in 2012. She is a member of Saulteau First Nation (north east British Columbia, Treaty 8). She is also an adopted member of the Gitanyow (Gitksan) House of Luuxhon, Ganada (Frog) Clan. Prior to joining the Faculty of Law at UVIC, she was an associate professor cross appointed with the faculties of native studies and law at the University of Alberta.

Val worked as a community activist and consultant in northwestern BC for over 25 years, specializing in health, education, and justice issues. She has also worked with a number of regional, provincial, national, and international projects relating to indigenous legal traditions, conflict management, education, and citizenship. Her dissertation on Gitksan law and legal theory was awarded the UVIC Governor General’s Gold Medal for best dissertation in 2009.

Val’s current research focuses on indigenous legal traditions, indigenous legal theory, indigenous feminism, citizenship, self-determination, and governance. Several of her major initiatives include the JID (joint JD and indigenous law degree) program and establishing an indigenous law research unit. She is currently the academic lead on a national indigenous law and reconciliation with the Indigenous Bar Association, Truth and Reconciliation, and the Ontario Law Foundation.

Val has taught and published on aboriginal legal issues, indigenous legal theory, indigenous feminist legal studies, self-government, critical issues in restorative justice, oral traditions, sexual orientation, and contemporary aboriginal issues. She also teaches property law.