Symposium on Indigenous Courts

Date: November 21-22, 2023
Price per person: See all prices on bottom page, including: member-rates, early bird fee, etc.
Location: Online & In Person: Ottawa, ON

Bilingual program with simultaneous interpretation
Participation in this program is accredited in provinces where CLE requirements for lawyers are mandatory

Major Sponsor:

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Position your organization as a committed leader in supporting Indigenous self-government initiatives in Canada. Discover all the possibilities in our brochure: Sponsorship Package.


From November 21-22, 2023, the Canadian Institute of the Administration Justice is hosting a symposium on Indigenous Courts to examine how Indigenous communities can assert their jurisdiction and wield decision-making power or contribute to it.

As we are shifting from the model of restricted jurisdiction to a more expansive model that recognizes the right to self-governance, this symposium will discuss:

  • What are the instruments for decision-making power;
  • What issues there might be with those instruments;
  • What is the scope of the power;
  • What is the impact of “Gladue Courts” on recidivism;
  • What is required to move from the current models to ones where Indigenous people wield stand-alone jurisdictional power using their own legal traditions.

Members of Indigenous communities, judges, legal professionals and law students across Canada are invited to join the discussion, reflect on the future and collectively work toward solutions.

Planning committee

  • The Honourable Judge Garth Smith, New Westminster First Nations Court, BC
  • The Honourable Marion Buller, Chancellor, University of Victoria
  • The Honourable Associate Chief Judge Joanne Durant, Provincial Court of Alberta
  • The Honourable Chief Judge Margaret Wiebe, Provincial Court of Manitoba
  • The Honourable Justice Colleen Suche, Court of King’s Bench of Manitoba; President, CIAJ
  • Jennifer Cox, K.C., Staff Lawyer, Dalhousie Legal Aid Service, Dalhousie University
  • The Honourable Justice Tracy Engelking, Superior Court of Justice (Ontario)
  • Adam Letourneau, K.C., Founder and Managing Partner, Letourneau LLP
  • Scott Robertson, Senior Associate, Nahwegahbow, Corbiere
  • Professor Brad Morse, Faculty of Law, Thompson Rivers University
  • Christine O’Doherty, Lawyer, Executive Director, CIAJ
  • Nathan Afilalo, Lawyer, Legal Researcher, CIAJ


Note: Early Bird Special fees available until August 1, 2023.

  • CIAJ Members: $695 ($895 after August 1, 2023)
  • Non-Members: $845 ($1,045 after August 1, 2023)
  • Young Lawyers Members (5 years or less): $525 ($650 after August 1, 2023)
  • Young Lawyer Non-Members (5 years or less): $625 ($825 after August 1, 2023)
  • Students (enrolled full-time at Canadian university): $95
  • Not-for-profit: $500


For further information, please contact the Project Manager of Multidisciplinary Programs, Mary Plagakis
Tel.: 514-731-2855

Cancellation Policy:

  • 30 days or more before the event: Administration fees of $40
  • 7 days or more before the event: 50% of registration fees
  • Less than 7 days before the event: No refund

At any time, a participant may be replaced by another person without charge

COVID-19 Requirements

To protect everyone’s health, the Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice requests that participants, CIAJ staff, faculty members and speakers are vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they benefit from a recognized medical exemption. This request is in addition to any restrictions or vaccination requirements that may be in force in the jurisdiction or at the venue where the event is being held. Masks are strongly recommended.