Two PhD students awarded prestigious scholarships

Researchers in Indigenous law and animal law win Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarships

Helen Metella - 18 May 2021

For the first time, doctoral students at the University of Alberta Faculty of Law have been awarded prestigious Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Scholarships.

Naiomi Metallic and Marcelo Rodriguez Ferrere are each recipients of a 2021 Killam Scholarship. The scholarships are awarded for two years and include a stipend of $45,000 annually.

Metallic’s thesis is on the implementation of Indigenous laws in Canada, with an inter-societal law focus. Her supervisor is Assistant Professor Hadley Friedland.

Born and raised on the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation on the Gaspé Coast of Quebec, Metallic is an assistant professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, where she’s the Chancellor’s Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy. Before entering academia in 2016, she practised law with a focus on Aboriginal law and Indigenous governance.

Rodriguez Ferrere’s thesis is on animal protection enforcement, focusing on Alberta and New Zealand. He argues that the enforcement is so deficient it undermines the rule of law and thus becomes a constitutional problem of concern to all citizens. He is supervised by Professor Peter Sankoff.

Rodriguez Ferrere is based in Dunedin, New Zealand, where he is a senior lecturer in the Faculty of Law at the University of Otago. He earned his master of laws at the University of Toronto and was in legal practice for several years prior. His areas of research focus on constitutional and administrative law, as well as the regulation of the legal relationship between humans and non-human animals.

The Killam Scholarships are among the most prestigious graduate awards administered by the University of Alberta. They are bestowed on outstanding doctoral students who, at the time of application, have completed at least one year of graduate study.

Throughout the University of Alberta, it is a rarity for a small Faculty such as Law to have two recipients in one year, said Professor Linda Reif, Law’s associate dean of graduate studies.