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RELAW participants

Interested in becoming part of RELAW? 
Find out how.


The RELAW Program was launched in 2016, and aims to deepen community-based capacity to engage in the articulation, revitalization, and application of Indigenous laws to contemporary issues. We do so by providing co-learning opportunities to individuals and pro bono legal support to Indigenous nations.

The heart of the RELAW approach is building internal power in Indigenous communities. Participants will gain tools and resources to facilitate community gatherings, grounded in their nation’s own stories and the knowledge of elders. Together, participants, lawyers and invited guests will prepare for decision-making dialogues about today’s environmental and social challenges within communities and nations.

Community Call-out

RELAW Co-learning Program

Deadline: October 15, 2021

Please contact Rayanna Seymour at rseymour@wcel.org with inquiries. 

Below is RELAW’s call-out for the 2021-22 Year 5 cohort that begins in November 2021.

Individual co-learners may be selected for the RELAW Co-learning Program Year 5 with the Expression of Interest form filled out:

  • Indigenous nations may nominate one or more community members or employees to participate in a co-learning program from November 2021 - June 2022 to build the foundation for current or future work on revitalizing Indigenous law for their nation.
  • Interested Indigenous individuals may nominate themselves with priority to representatives of Indigenous nations.

Participants will:

  • learn about research approaches to applying and enforcing Indigenous law;
  • have the opportunity to engage with their nation’s own laws and processes;
  • explore how these can shape community decision-making processes;
  • learn of trauma-informed approaches to community engagement design and delivery; and,
  • learn from one another as co-learners.

Participants will attend three co-learning sessions (See About RELAW Retreats for more information):

  • The first retreat: Indigenous Law in Story will be held in November 2021 (on Zoom).
  • The second retreat: Decision-making Processes and Roles will be held March 1-4, 2022.
  • The third retreat: Indigenous law in Action will be held June 7-10, 2022.

See this blog on a past RELAW Retreat experience.

For more information, see: Background on RELAW Co-learning Program.

To apply, please complete this Expression of Interest form and submit to Rayanna Seymour-Hourie, RELAW Manager at rseymour@wcel.org. Space is limited and first consideration will be given to applications received by October 15, 2021.


RELAW Partnerships

Through RELAW partnership projects, lawyers from West Coast Environmental Law’s RELAW team provide free legal services as we work cooperatively with Indigenous nations who wish to develop written expressions of their law through deliberative community-based processes grounded in the teachings from their stories and knowledge holders. Indigenous nations involved in RELAW projects also attend RELAW co-learning retreats.

Currently, the RELAW team is at capacity with our partnerships but we welcome inquiries from Indigenous groups in BC. The RELAW Co-learning Program runs from November 2021-June 2022.

Indigenous nations interested in developing a RELAW project should contact Rayanna Seymour, RELAW Manager (rseymour@wcel.org, 1-800-330-WCEL ext. 226) at any time.

To learn more, see: Background on RELAW Learning Partnerships

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