Saturday, May 18, 2024

Construction underway on UVic’s National Centre for Indigenous Laws


The Fraser building on the UVic campus is getting an expansion of over 26,000 square feet.

The expansion’s construction is underway as of November 8th and it will house the new National Centre for Indigenous Laws.

This new centre will house public lecture theatres, faculty offices, classrooms, meeting space, an Elders’ room as well as spaces for gatherings and ceremonies.

UVic said the project will be built as ethically as possible in regards to sustainability and is expected to be completed in 2024.

The total cost of the project is expected to be $27.1 million. BC is chipping in $13 million and the federal government will provide $9.1 million with an additional $5 million coming from the Law Foundation of BC.

The project is being led by a 100% Indigenous owned architect firm, Two Row Architect, in partnership with Teeple Architects and Victoria-based Low, Hammond, Architects.

The National Centre for Indigenous Laws will be the home of the first ever joint degree in Indigenous legal orders and Canadian common law. The four-year program where graduates will achieve a Juris Doctor (JD) and a Juris Indigenarum (JID) upon graduation.

“This physical structure represents a sanctuary where our laws, which enable us to be peoples, will be safe, and where both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students will learn about those laws, creating the foundation to a multi-juridical Canada,” Dr. Val Napoleon, a professor at the University of Victoria and the Chair of the Law Foundation of Indigenous Justice and Governance.

The joint law program started in 2018 aims to provide its students with developing skills they need to practice with Indigenous legal orders within Canadian common law and learning the interface between them.

In addition to the expansion for the National Centre for Indigenous Laws, the existing portions of the Fraser building will also be upgraded with new end-of-trip cycling facilities, renovations to the student lounge, new flooring, new carpeting, and ceiling improvements.

(UVic’s National Centre for Indigenous Laws / Photo rendering)
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