Lakehead University: Mino-Waabandan Inaakonigewinan – Seeing Law in a Good Way

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Co-Directors Robin Sutherland, left, and Larissa Speak unveiled the Institute's new logo, a Thunderbird
Co-Directors Robin Sutherland, left, and Larissa Speak unveil the Institute's new logo, a Thunderbird

THUNDER BAY – Lakehead University’s Bora Laskin Faculty of Law unveiled the new Anishnaabemowin name of the Indigenous Law and Justice Institute and a new logo at a ceremony in the John N. Paterson Auditorium.

The new name, Mino-Waabandan Inaakonigewinan, means “seeing the law in a good way.”

Elder Ron Linklater bestowed the new name on the Institute during a naming ceremony at Bora Laskin’s inaugural summer land-based learning camp in August 2022.

Designed by local Anishinaabe artist Ryan Pooman, the new logo is a Thunderbird. The logo represents power, protection, and strength – qualities associated with vision and leadership that will guide the Institute.

Originally led by former Professor Nancy Sandy as Director and supported by Sherry Abotossaway as Outreach and Research Coordinator, the Institute currently consists of Co-Directors Larissa Speak, Assistant Professor at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law, and Robin Sutherland, the Director of Indigenous Relations at the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law.

Anna Chief, the Indigenous Outreach and Recruitment Coordinator with Indigenous Initiatives at Lakehead University, is the Institute’s Land-Based Learning Coordinator.

“Today, we are extremely excited to share the Anishinaabemowin name we were ceremonially gifted at our inaugural summer land-based learning camp, as well as the logo created for our institute,” Speak said.

Both the name and logo reflect the important work the Institute is doing with communities to revitalize Indigenous laws and legal orders.

“Mino-waabandan Inaakonigewinan,’ or ‘seeing the law in a good way,’ is something we strive for daily through our law program and the Institute’s activities.

The Thunderbird image also relates to seeing law in a good way and reflects our location in Thunder Bay, especially with Fort William First Nation being our closest neighbour and home to Anemki Wajiw, or Thunder Mountain,” Sutherland added.

“Looking ahead to the future, we are excited to continue working to fulfill community needs in terms of law revitalization, hosting our biennial Indigenous Law Conference, expanding our land-based learning camp, building our resource library, and supporting student and faculty research.  We are sincerely grateful to the Department of Justice and the Law Foundation of Ontario for their ongoing support,” Speak said.

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