PhD student recognized for outstanding academic achievement and research

Naiomi Metallic awarded Dorothy J. Killam Memorial Graduate Prize

Sarah Kent - 18 October 2021

Naiomi Metallic’s doctoral work at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law is helping us learn how Indigenous laws can be implemented within the Canadian state, and that innovative research has earned her a Dorothy J. Killam Memorial Graduate Prize.

Metallic is one of three PhD students at the University of Alberta recognized with the prize and is the first student to receive the award in the Faculty of Law.

In the spring, Metallic was awarded a prestigious Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarship.

“It's very humbling to have been chosen for this in addition to winning an Izaak Killam scholarship,” said Metallic. “It is heartwarming. I think it speaks to a real desire to support work towards reconciliation and to make space for Indigenous legal orders.”

Recipients of the Dorothy J. Killam Memorial Graduate Prize are selected based on academic achievement, research proposal, letters of recommendation and leadership qualities.

Her thesis, Finding Spaces for Indigenous Law in Canada, uses an inter-societal law focus to examine how Indigenous laws can be revitalized and co-exist with Canadian legal orders. Metallic’s supervisor is Associate Professor Hadley Friedland.

“Hadley Friedland has been a wonderful mentor and supervisor, and Linda Reif has been very supportive in highlighting my work and encouraging me to seek scholarships,” said Metallic. “I've really appreciated that.”

In addition to her doctoral studies, Metallic is an assistant professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, where she is the Chancellor’s Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy. Continuing to work as a full-time professor means she has had to juggle competing responsibilities, said Metallic.

“I used a lot of this summer to devote to my coursework, and I'm very excited about the papers I wrote under the guidance of Professor Friedland,” she said. “I should be on sabbatical next year, and looking forward to sinking deep into research and writing!”