Skip to main content
Unsupported Browser
Your Browser is out of date and is not supported by this website.
Please upgrade to Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 11, or Microsoft Edge.
Edwards Lecture Poster: Prisms of Justice: Indigenous Legal

Annual Edwards Lecture - Prisms of Justice: Indigenous Legal Perspective


Speaker: Dr. Val Napoleon, Acting Dean, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria

Presented by the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies and co-sponsored by Woodsworth College

Prisms of Justice: Indigenous Legal Perspective

When we hear the term justice employed, we of course apply our own expectations and definitions wrought through our own grids of intelligibility and experience. Justice and all that the concept encompasses form the aspirations that people hold for law and this includes Indigenous law. This is the way I want to take up the conversation about justice – from an Indigenous legal perspective and from within an Indigenous legal perspective. In other words, how is justice an aspiration of Indigenous law whether dealing with harms and injuries, conflicts, lands and water, gender, human rights, and so on?

Val Napoleon is one Canada’s most influential Indigenous legal scholars. She is the director of the Indigenous law degree program at UVic.  She also directs the Indigenous Law Research Unit, which she co-founded in 2012 to partner with Indigenous communities, in order to support them in researching, re-articulating, and rebuilding their laws. She also holds the Law Foundation Chair of Indigenous Justice and Governance, has been named a Canadian Indigenous Bar Association People’s Counsel—a rare distinction awarded to a First Nations, Inuit, or Metis lawyer for “outstanding achievements in the practice of law"— and was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars in 2017. In 2021 she received a national Indspire Award and an honorary Doctorate of Laws from UNBC.

The annual Edwards Memorial lecture is delivered in honour of the Centre’s founder, Professor John Ll. J. Edwards. The lecture is presented by the Centre for Criminology & Sociolegal Studies, the Centre for Indigenous Studies, and Woodsworth College, University of Toronto.