Levelling the Law School Playing Field: Aboriginal Law Student Scholarship Trust Launched in Vancouver

  • June 02, 2008

Recent Studies indicate that though BC Law Schools specifically set aside a significant number of placements for Aboriginal persons each year they often remain vacant due, in part, to the inability of qualified candidates being able to fund their post graduate studies. Recognizing this inequity and with determination to help level the law school playing field, BC’s legal community has come together to assist aspiring Aboriginal lawyers.

Through the generous support of a myriad of contributors, in partnership with the National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation (NAAF) and with a commitment by the Law Foundation of BC to match raised funds up to $75,000, the Canadian Bar Association BC Branch proudly launched the Aboriginal Law Student Scholarship Trust (ALSST) on Wednesday May 28, 2008 at the Douglas Reynolds Gallery in Vancouver.

Dr. Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of NAAF and the first First Nations woman to earn a law degree in Canada, was the featured speaker at the launch. Dr. Jamieson says “I applaud the tremendous leadership shown by the BC CBA and the legal community in the BC region for not only recognizing a need but taking action to address it. Their campaign has been exemplary and we are proud to be associated with their efforts and encourage other regions to follow their lead.” The value of scholarships, like the ALSST are expounded by the aboriginal law students of today. Troy Hunter of the Class of 2009 UVIC Law School and the St. Mary’s Indian Band of the Ktunaxa First Nation says “Canadian society will be far better off when Aboriginal students are given opportunities to advance economically and social, scholarships help to achieve this goal.”

 

Left to Right: Kathryn A. Berge, QC, Bencher, Law Society of BC; Warren Wilson, QC, Chair Emeritus, Law Foundation of BC;
Henry Charles, Member, Musqueam First Nation; Dr Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO, NAAF; Arlene H. Henry, QC, CBABC Executive
Committee Officer and Liaison to ALSST Fundraising Committee; and Maria A. Morellato, QC, Co-Chair, ALSST Fundraising Committee

For more information about the ALSST, the Launch Event or to request an interview with either Dr. Roberta Jamieson or Troy Hunter please contact: media@bccba.org

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The Canadian Bar Association is the professional organization responsible for representing the interests of lawyers, representing more than 33,000 members across Canada and more than 6,000 lawyers in British Columbia.