Originally, the Indigenous Law Students Association (ILSA) was formed with the hopes of creating a community for the Indigenous students at Lakehead Law. A call for membership was made to Indigenous and non-Indigenous students, and a wonderful group of individuals attended our first meeting.
Meetings began with monthly breakfasts where we would discuss our collective experiences in law school. Support networks developed. Friendships grew. Eventually we came to realize the unique opportunities the ILSA presented, and the group evolved.
First, as a means of furthering the Aboriginal Persepctives component at Lakehead, the ILSA organized the first ILSA Movie Night, where a feature film was shown. The film we chose was Alanis Obomsawin’s “The People of the Kattawapiskak River.” A discussion followed, the goal of which was to create a safe atmosphere to discuss the issues outlined in the film. The first ILSA Movie Night was a success and we look forward to future events.
Following the ILSA Movie Night, we decided to extend into community involvement, and organized the first Lakehead Law Winter Feast which doubled as a fresh fruit and vegetable fundraiser for Beendigen Inc, a Native Women’s crisis home and Family Healing Agency.
Overall, the aim of the ILSA is law student support first, community leadership second. The ILSA hopes to facilitate the opportunity to learn from one another (not ABOUT one another) in a safe and supportive environment. To share stories, triumphs and heartaches. To blend community values and cultures. To be an example for the rest of the community. To show that with dialogue, understanding, and that “Lakehead Law enthusiasm” we can make a difference at our school, in the community, and in the legal profession.
Join us. There is work to be done.
Samantha Ramage - 2L Student ILSA