The Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge is a sustainable community-led, interdisciplinary unit, a partnership between the University of Alberta Faculties of Law and Native Studies. The Wahkohtowin Lodge responds to the expressed needs of Indigenous communities and organizations who want effective strategies to identify, rebuild and develop law and governance structures that resonate within their own legal and governance traditions.
The Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge’s purpose is to be a sustainable, community-engaged, and interdisciplinary unit, as a partnership between the University of Alberta Faculties of Law and Native Studies, to:
- Support Indigenous communities' goals to identify, articulate, and implement their own laws and governance.
- Develop, gather, amplify, and transfer promising methods and research tools.
- Produce useful and accessible practical governance resources and public legal education.
The Wahkohtowin Lodge responds to the expressed needs of Indigenous communities and organizations, who want effective strategies to address pressing interpersonal and social issues and to rebuild their own law and governance structures that resonate within their own legal and governance traditions. It specifically answers the TRC Call to Action #50, which calls for the creation of Indigenous Law Institutes for the “development, use and understanding of Indigenous laws”.
It does so by building on and merging two well-developed, successful and highly in demand practice models from the University of Victoria Faculty of Law’s Indigenous Law Research Unit (ILRU) and the University of Alberta Faculty of Native Studies’ Indigenous Governance Program (IGP), both of which are discussed in greater detail below.