Indigenous Applicants

It is a priority of Osgoode Hall Law School to engage Indigenous Communities and increase Indigenous voices within the Law School and the legal profession.

A Distinct Admissions Category for Indigenous Applicants

All applicants applying under the Indigenous category must provide documentation corroborating their identification with and connection to an Indigenous community.  This can include a demonstration of service, involvement or leadership within the community, on Indigenous issues, or within Indigenous circles.   If the Admissions Committee determines that insufficient documentation has been provided, your file will be reviewed as a General applicant.

Applicants’ files are reviewed in accordance with our holistic admissions policy, which considers the strength of both academic and non-academic factors.   In making its decision, the Admissions Committee will consider the candidate’s ability to successfully complete law school.

Diverse Programing in Indigenous Legal Perspectives

The Intensive Program in Indigenous Lands, Resources and Governments

This intensive, one of our flagship experiential programs, 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 Aboriginal law programs in North America.  The intensive provides a unique opportunity to learn law in its actual context through a two-month externship placement, combined with in-class experience.  Placements may be close to home or around the world.  To learn more, click here.

Indigenous and Aboriginal Law Requirement

This program requirement ensures that each student completes a course that focusses on Indigenous and Aboriginal legal issues and engages with Indigenous laws, Aboriginal law and skills related to serving Indigenous clients.

Indigenous Legal Perspectives in the Curriculum

Many of Osgoode’s courses and seminars incorporate Indigenous legal perspectives.  Osgoode also has a diverse array of specialized offerings related to Indigenous Law including:

  • Indigenous Peoples and Canadian Law
  • Indigenous Perspectives and Realities
  • Indigenous Peoples: Law and Settler Society
  • Natural Resources Law
  • International Human Rights Law
  • Comparative Law: Indigenous Legal Traditions
  • Rights and Reconciliation: Indigenous Peoples and the Law

Each year Osgoode students participate in the Kawaskimhon Aboriginal Moot, a large table negotiation where students from across Canada debate and negotiate Aboriginal legal issues.

Leading Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Law Scholars

Osgoode Hall Law School is proud that some of the world’s leading Aboriginal Rights and Indigenous Law Scholars call the Law School their home.  Click on their names to read about the exciting work that they do:

A Welcoming and Supportive Environment

The Law School and York University provide a welcoming environment with culturally appropriate support services and programming.

  • The Law School hosts a special ceremony to give recognition to Indigenous students at Convocation.
  • The Osgoode Indigenous Students’ Association (OISA) provides a social support network for Indigenous students at Osgoode.  OISA raises awareness about Indigenous legal issues within the Law School and organizes events and speakers.  Some past events have included:
    • Organizing attendance at the Indigenous Bar Association conference
    • Hosting Wab Kinew of 8th Fire
    • Meeting former National Chief Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine
    • Co-sponsoring an Idle no More panel
    • Osgoode’s Program Manager and Special Advisor, Indigenous & Reconciliation Initiatives provides mentorship, support and advice specifically for Indigenous JD students and promotes Indigenization within the Law School
    • We host an annual Anishinaabe Law Camp which offers Indigenous and non-Indigenous law students an introduction to Anishinaabe legal concepts, principles, pedagogies and modes of reasoning
    • Skennen’ko:wa Gamig is a dedicated safe cultural space on campus for formal and informal use by Indigenous students, staff and faculty.
  • York University resources are available to all Osgoode students including The Indigenous Students’ Association at York (ISAY), a student-run service organization and The Centre for Indigenous Student Services, which is designed to meet the needs of York’s Aboriginal Community.