1973: The Program of Legal Studies for Native People
In June of 1973, the
University of Saskatchewan offered an unique Summer School class through the College of Law. For some time Dean Roger Carter had been
concerned about the low number of aboriginal students entering the College of
Law. In 1973 there were only four
lawyers and five students of native ancestry in Canada. On a visit to the New Mexico Law School,
Carter studied the program which was to serve as a model for the University of
Saskatchewan. The result was the establishment of the Program of Legal Studies
for Native People. It was to be an
eight week course designed to prepare native students for formal studies at one
of Canada’s twenty law schools. Both
status and non-status students were eligible for assistance from the Federal
Government for the course itself and throughout their subsequent legal studies.1 In 1975 administration of the program was transferred to the newly
created Native Law Centre whose mandate it was to establish further support of undergraduate and graduate study, teaching, and research in areas
of law involving native persons.2
By 1997 there were an estimated 500 lawyers and 12 judges of First
Nations ancestry in Canada, of which 353 lawyers and 6 judges had been
introduced to the law via the Saskatchewan program.
College of Law fonds, RG 2082.
Native Law Centre fonds, RG 2101.
1973a: College of Law - Exterior, Photograph Collection, A-4891
1973b: Principal’s Records, RG 2, 5. I. i. 1972-1974.
1 Press release, News and Publications, 24 April 1973.
2 Guide to Holdings.