The Intensive Program in Aboriginal Lands, Resources & Governments began in 1993, after a group of Osgoode students was profoundly affected by the Oka crisis and challenged the Law School to do something to help Aboriginal people. Osgoode did - it created one of the best programs in North America to explore the legal issues relating to indigenous poeple and indigenous rights. The program combines a rigorous academic experience with challenging placements in the field.
The program is unique in a number of ways, including that students from all Canadian law schools are eligible to apply. The full-term program begins with two weeks of intensive training at Osgoode followed by a two-month externship placement. Placements may be close to home or around the world. Past student placement have included: Toronto law firms, Te Awara Fisheries in Rotorua, New Zealand, Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba, and Upper Skeena Counselling & Legal Assistance Society (USCLAS) in Hazelton, a small community in Gitxsan territory in northern British Columbia. Students are also required to draft a major research paper and make a two-hour presentation to the other participants in the program at the end of term.
Please read the program brochure below to view some of the past placements as well as comments about the program from former students. In addition, please see below for responses to Frequently Asked Questions.
If you are not currently an Osgoode student, please see the application form below. Current Osgoode students should consult the Program Selection page.
The 15-credit program is open to 12 students in the winter semester each year (including non-Osgoode students). Students receive two letter grades; one for their presentation and one for their research paper, each worth three credits. The remaining nine credits are awarded on a credit/no credit basis. A written evaluation of each student’s work and accomplishments within the program will be permanently attached to the student's transcript.
The program is recommended for students in their third year. Prerequisites include a law school course in Aboriginal Law, and if the student is interested in an environmental externship, a law school course on environmental law is required. Students interested in placements is Latin America must be able to speak and write in Spanish.