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Law students learn from Cariboo-region Dakelh nations

Guest lecture at Thompson Rivers University imparts some Indigenous wisdom
Lhtako Dene Nation south of Quesnel. (Rebecca Dyok photo)

A leading voice from the local Indigenous community got to stand at the head of the class to impart wisdom for the attorneys of tomorrow.

Raymond Joubert, general manager of the Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance (SDNA), was a guest lecturer at Thompson Rivers University’s law school. He was invited by professor Murray Sholty to speak to the students in TRU’s First Nations Governance and Economic Development class.

“Raymond’s lecture covered Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance’s unique governance structure, innovative approaches to federal and provincial agreements, and other latest developments,” said Sholty. “His lecture perfectly tied in Aboriginal law, SDNA’s innovative initiatives, and the practical challenges with implementing these important reconciliation efforts.”

The SDNA was formed in 2016 to advance the collective goals of the Lhoosk’uzt’en (Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation), Nazkot’en (Nazko First Nation), and Lhtakot’en (Lhtako Dené Nation.) In that short amount of time, negotiations have been held with the province of British Columba and government of Canada arriving at a framework agreement and a Pathways Agreement.

The organization is dedicated to advancing rights and title recognition, land and resource management, stimulate economic development, enhance health and education, and develop robust governance. Each of the three SDNA nations operates autonomously, but has this entity to advance any of their collective goals.

“Raymond’s lecture on the Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance’s initiatives interlinked well with TRU Law’s larger efforts to include First Nations dimensions in its programs, and continued relationship-building with First Nations peoples,” said Sholty. “Raymond gave students the chance to hear about theory and practices coming together. This was reflected in the students’ inquisitive questions about all areas of SDNA’s work, from First Nations working relationships to economic reconciliation, and other nation-building endeavours.”

The northern Cariboo has now left a mark on the legal and business minds of the future, all of whom are close to completing their education and embarking on key career paths that have now taken a few steps in the local territories.

Read more: Barkerville to celebrate Indigenous culture on BC Day, Aug. 1

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Frank Peebles

About the Author: Frank Peebles

I started my career with Black Press Media fresh out of BCIT in 1994, as part of the startup of the Prince George Free Press, then editor of the Lakes District News.
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