The University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law has appointed the first indigenous elder in residence at a law school in Canada.
In her new role, Claudette Commanda, who is an Algonquin Anishinabe from Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation and an alumna and former instructor of the faculty, will provide knowledge and guidance to indigenous students, as well as to professors and staff. She also will lead the faculty in cultural protocols or ceremonial blessings in appropriate circumstances, and provide perspective as an indigenous elder.
Interim dean François Larocque says the appointment is in keeping with the new direction of the faculty, and with call to action No. 28 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which asks law schools to require all law students to take a course in Aboriginal people and the law, and including “skills-based training in intercultural competency.”