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Law certificate raises awareness of Indigenous perspectives

Local and Global Engagement | Strategy 17: Indigenous Engagement
Theme: Inclusion
Patricia Barkaskas Allard School of Law instructor and Academic Director of the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic
Patricia Barkaskas Allard School of Law instructor and Academic Director of the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic

An eight-month non-credit certificate course at the Peter A. Allard School of Law aims to draw on cross-cultural learning opportunities and connect participants with the Indigenous community. Now in its second year, the Cultural Competency Certificate was developed by Professor Patricia Barkaskas, an instructor at the Allard School of Law and Academic Director of the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic.

Through the program, participants are able to develop a better understanding of: colonial assumptions, beliefs and biases that form the foundation of the Canadian legal system; the history of colonial practices and policies in Canada; and Indigenous perspectives on law and what decolonization means for the practice of law.

Open to students, staff and faculty from the Allard School of Law, the certificate supports UBC’s shared commitment to promote Strategy 17: Indigenous Engagement. Furthermore, the certificate is highlighted in UBC’s draft 2018 Indigenous Strategic Plan as an emerging approach for students to critically examine issues in their profession that are not often embedded in the core curriculum.

Visit the Allard School of Law’s website to learn how this certificate is bringing cultural awareness to the classroom.

“The Cultural Competency Certificate is about developing those skills that test our inherent biases and allowing us to see those and really develop our abilities to listen to other people instead of making assumptions.”

Patricia Barkaskas
Instructor at the Allard School of Law and Academic Director of the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic