Nov. 6, 2023
Indigenous artwork important step in law school's reconciliation journey
Justice, fairness, and a respect for humanity. Those are three values law schools hope to instil in law students. They’re also three values represented in a new painting commissioned in partnership with the Indigenous Law Student’s Association, by Blood artist Kalum Teke Dan unveiled in a cultural parallel process in the Faculty of Law’s Bennett Jones Lecture Theatre on Oct. 24.
Featuring a mountain backdrop, a bald eagle, the scales of justice and a vibrant hummingbird, Balance represents a journey through justice, the importance of fairness, and genuine respect for humanity. According to Elder Casey Eagle Speaker, the hummingbird, while small, plays an important role in balancing the environment.
“Human beings have a responsibility like the hummingbird, to be in the moment and to create balance within ourselves, with other people, within systems, and the world,” says Eagle Speaker.
Andrew Showalter, the law school’s co-ordinator of Indigenous initiatives and reconciliation, says the piece is an important step on the journey toward reconciliation and Indigenization in the law school.
“Fostering change within our faculty means ensuring that Indigenous students can see themselves within the law, and simultaneously fostering the opportunity for our broader community to acknowledge, recognize, learn, and deeply reflect on Indigenous Peoples and their distinct cultures,” says Showalter.
“Embracing Indigenous ways of connecting and ways of being is our responsibility as a faculty to advance reciprocity and create a shared space for further transformation.”