On June 1 and 2, 2017 Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, Lakehead University proudly hosted graduation ceremonies for the 59 graduates in the Class of 2017! Graduates had the opportunity to participate in a Blanket Ceremony, Law Ceremony, Convocation Ceremony, and Graduation Reception.
The Blanket Ceremony, held on June 1, honoured graduates achievements and dedication and was an opportunity for graduates to thank those who supported them during their educational journey. The Blanket Ceremony was run by Elders Isabel Mercier and Gene Nowegejick; students were honoured to have ceremonial music provided by women drummers from the Red Rock Indian Band and Fort William First Nations. Events of the Blanket Ceremony included smudging, prayer, sharing, honouring individual graduates, and feasting together on traditional food. Six students chose to participate in the Blanket Ceremony and several community members, staff and faculty attended to support the graduates, including the Law Ceremony Keynote Speaker, the Hon. Bob Rae and his wife, Arlene.
On June 2nd, 48 of the 59 graduates, along with their families, friends, supporters and Thunder Bay community members, attended the Law Ceremony at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, The Law Ceremony opened with Dean Angelique EagleWoman providing a welcoming and words of advice for the new graduates entering the legal profession. To congratulate the graduates on their remarkable achievements, remarks were also brought by several members of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law and Thunder Bay community, including: Rene Larson (President of the Thunder Bay Law Association), Celina Reitberger (Aboriginal Advisory Committee, Nishnawbe-Aski Nation and Fort William First Nation), Karen Drake (Metis Nation of Ontario and Assistant Professor of Law); Dr. Frances Chapman (Associate Professor of Law), and Leslie De Muelles (Class of 2017 Valedictorian). Keynote speaker, Hon. Bob Rae inspired graduates to continue pursuing law careers with a sense of responsibility, integrity and passion. He spoke of the braid of three legal traditions in Canada – federal, provincial and Indigenous – as important for the coming years. He also shared the many challenges faced by Chief Justice Bora Laskin throughout his legal career and encouraged the law graduates to persevere. The Canadian Bar Insurance Association graciously sponsored the lunch for graduates and their supporters.
At the close of the celebrations, graduates and their supporters, staff, and faculty were invited to attend a Graduation Reception in the auditorium at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law. The reception was co-hosted by the Law Students Society and the Faculty of Law. Those in attendance congratulated each other through heartfelt toasts and sharing memories of their time at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law.
Congratulations to the Class of 2017!