Akitsiraq Law School

  • logo_Akitsiraq Law School
    • The Law School has no permanent classrooms, employees or assets, and the admissions process has no formal education requirements. The Akitsiraq Law School focuses on the practical abilities of potential students based on life experience and work history. The program is strongly supported by legal professionals and by members of the Nunavut Judiciary through in-kind and volunteer services, developing effective programs and bringing legal resources from across Canada to teach each Akitsiraq cohort.

      Akitsiraq programs have provided legal training to residents of Nunavut and the surrounding Arctic region, leading to professional and para-professional legal qualifications.

      The provenance of the name "Akitsiraq" is explained on the school website.

      The original program offering was the Akitsiraq Jump-Start Program which partnered with Nunavut Arctic College to provide 16 students with an enhanced background in law. Through this work the Akitsiraq Society was able to develop the Law School model eventually implemented as Akitsiraq I (2001) and II (2011). These four-year programs deliver the equivalent of a Canadian three-year law degree for students in this isolated region and in a strongly Inuit cultural context.

      The Akitsiraq I program was a partnership between the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria, Nunavut Arctic College and the Akitsiraq Law School Society. It offered a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LL.B) in Iqaluit, Nunavut. to residents of Nunavut and the surrounding Arctic region. This program accepted one intake of students in 2001-02 who graduated in 2004-05. The Akitsiraq I final report Lawyer Making in the Arctic ( [July 2007] Browne, Crawford and Tulloch), is an extensive record of this program, and includes seven appendices incorporating contracts, course selections, timetables, budgets and program evaluation by graduates.

      The Akitsiraq II program has been announced by the parent society in conjunction with the University of Ottawa Law Faculty, using infrastructure and support from Nunavut Arctic College. The announced intention is to proceed with a second cohort of students in 2011. The recruiting and admission process for the 2011 cohort have been funded by Justice Canada, including Akitsiraq Law Days in Cambridge Bay, Rankin Inlet, Iqaluit and Ottawa in the spring of 2010, but the program launch has been on hold since November 2009 awaiting a decision by the Government of Nunavut to provide core support.

      The Akitsiraq Law School Society is a not-for-profit organization incorporated in Nunavut. Its Board of Directors and membership are drawn from the Nunavut judiciary, legal profession and supporting members of the public, along with nominees of supporting agencies.

      The cohort-based, culture-enhancing, learning-in-Nunavut format of the Akitsiraq Law Program has frequently been promoted as a prototype for training in other professions including accounting "The Akitsiraq of Accounting", education administration "MEd. Graduates Set a Good Example", and for doctors and engineers.