The Indigenous Knowledge Initiative was launched in 2019 by legal scholar Mark Dockstator. The Initiative is a three-year program led by Dockstator, a member of the Oneida Nation of the Thames and an Osgoode Hall graduate.
The program was established through a $250,000 donation by Queen’s Trustees David Sharpe, Law ’95, and member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.
In an email sent to The Journal, Mark Walters, Dean of the Faculty of Law, stated the program aims to integrate Indigenous knowledge into Queen’s academic system to connect Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars.
“Queen’s Law is actively working on a number of initiatives to advance Indigenous knowledge within the study and administration of law, which are founded on the importance of exploring Indigenous legal traditions in Canada and furthering our commitment to access to justice and reconciliation,” Walters wrote.
He added the Indigenous Knowledge Initiative focuses largely on connecting Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars as well as communities.
The program is designed to facilitate in-person consultations with Elders, traditional knowledge-holders, and Indigenous students. However, due to the pandemic, it has limited much of its in-person work.
“We hope to continue this important work soon,” Walters wrote.
Queen’s Law also recently released its 2021-26 Strategic Framework.
“As part of our recently released Strategic Framework, we have reaffirmed our commitment to Indigenous learning through a recently appointed Director of Indigenous Initiatives and we are working to establish an Office of Indigenous Initiatives and EDII programs,” Walters wrote.
Goals of the Framework include “fostering relationships with local Indigenous, national, and global communities beyond Queen’s Law.”
Walters added that the Indigenous Knowledge Initiative is looking for an Indigenous legal scholar to expand the faculty’s expertise.
“We are building on our existing curricular offerings focused on Indigenous law, and we are exploring new pathways to engage and attract Indigenous students into our programs.”
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