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ILSA Speaker Series 2024!

Tansi Ninôtemik,



This week, we look forward to bringing you along to the Indigenous Law Students’ Association [“ILSA”] 2024 Speaker Series!



The Speaker Series is an annual event that takes place during the lunch hour, organized by ILSA, and headed by the Speaker Series Chair and Co-Chair, (this year, Neal Ruth and Dana Ledger).


Throughout the academic year, the Speaker Series committee agrees on a theme, the speakers, engages community members to attend, and manages the logistics of this event. This year, the theme is “Reconciling the Law After the Storm”[1] building off of last year’s theme of “Having the Courage to Face the Storm,” inspired by the resilience of the buffalo.[2] 


Yesterday’s inaugural speaker was University of Alberta alumna, and Cree-Métis lawyer, Lisa Weber.[3] Lisa has a Master of Laws from the University of Manitoba, and has been a practicing lawyer for over 20 years.[4] Lisa has done prolific work with and for the Indigenous community, including for the MMIWG inquiry, Residential School Survivors, and for Cindy Gladue in the case of R v Barton.[5] 


Lisa’s talk centered around her practice, involving her work with First Nations to uphold and implement their inherent rights and laws, especially regarding child and family services as stated in An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (“the Act”),[6] and recently affirmed in Reference re An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families (“Reference re”).[7]


Lisa described her work supporting First Nations asserting their jurisdiction over child and family services, as affirmed by the Act, and how the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision in Reference re has provided a meaningful step towards Indigenous jurisdiction being affirmed. You can read our previous post on Reference re from earlier this year.[8] 


Lisa has worked with several communities, including for example Louis Bull Tribe, using Asikiw Mostos O’Pikinawasowin (“AMO Law”) to implement legislation and assert their jurisdiction over child and family services. She explained how the Act outlines coordination agreements as Canada’s preferred pathway to working with Indigenous Nations, but emphasized that this is not the only way to move forward together. As per Lisa, we must respect and honour Indigenous knowledge to work towards reconciliation together.


Tomorrow, we have another amazing speaker – stay tuned.



Until next time,


The ReconciliACTION YEG team


[1] University of Alberta Faculty of Law, “2024 ILSA Speaker Series” (2024) online: University of Alberta <https://www.ualberta.ca/law/about/ilsa-speaker-series.html>

[2] Lauren Bannon, “A look at the upcoming 2023 ILSA Speaker Series” (15 Feb 2023) online University of Alberta: <https://www.ualberta.ca/law/about/news/2023/2/ilsa.html#:~:text=The%20theme%20of%20this%20year%27s,group%20who%20planned%20the%20series>.

[3] Supra note 1.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Ibid; R v Barton, 2019 SCC 33, [2019] 2 SCR 579.

[6] An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, 1st Sess, 42nd Parl, 2019, (assented to 21 June 2019), SC 2019, c 24.

[7] Reference re An Act respecting First Nations, Inuit and Métis children, youth and families, 2024 SCC 5, at para 9  <https://scc-csc.lexum.com/scc-csc/scc-csc/en/item/20264/index.do#_ftn1>.

[8] Ibid at paras 7-8.


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