The Law Society of British Columbia is pleased to offer a scholarship for Indigenous students enrolled in full time legal studies in the province of British Columbia.

The scholarship may be awarded to one student  ($20,000), or divided equally between two students ($10,000 per student), at the discretion of the selection committee. The Indigenous Scholarship aims to enhance the representation of Indigenous lawyers in British Columbia by supporting their legal education.

Who is eligible?

The Indigenous Scholarship is open to Canadian Indigenous students who are enrolled in full time studies at the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria or Thompson Rivers University law schools.

What are the selection criteria?

The Credentials Committee will take into consideration:

  • academic standing;
  • positive social contributions, such as volunteer work;
  • the applicant's intention to practise in BC after completing legal studies; and
  • financial need. 

How does one apply?

A candidiate must submit a letter to the Law Society setting out the details of the applicant's academic career, social contributions, intention to practise in BC upon completion of legal studies, and financial need.

The application letter must be accompanied by: 

  • official transcripts of the applicant's academic career;
  • proof of enrolment in a law school in British Columbia;
  • two letters of recommendation from the applicant's law school (preferably one academic reference, and one reference confirming the applicant’s social contributions); and
  • proof of Canadian Indigenous ancestry, specifically, a photocopy of either a status, citizenship, membership, registration, or enrolment card issued by:
    • The Registrar of the Federal Government’s “Indian” Register;
    • A Band within the meaning of the Indian Act that has control of its membership list;
    • An Indigenous group under a modern land claims agreement;
    • An Inuit organization that is recognized by the Government of Canada;
    • An Inuit organization that is recognized by the Government of Nunavut;
    • One of the Métis Settlements in Alberta;
    • A provincial organization that is a member of the Métis National Council, which includes the Métis Nation of British Columbia, the Métis Nation of Alberta, the Métis Nation of Saskatchewan, the Manitoba Métis Federation, and the Métis Nation of Ontario; or
    • A Métis organization that is recognized by the Government of Canada.

The application letter and accompanying materials should be mailed to: 

Lesley Small
Deputy Director, Credentials & Licensing
Law Society of British Columbia
800 – 845 Cambie Street
Vancouver, BC  V6B 4Z9

What is the deadline for submission?

All documents must be submitted to the Law Society no later than March 31 of any given year.

2019 recipient

Congratulations to Shawnee Monchalin, winner of the 2019 Indigenous scholarship (pictured below with President Nancy Merrill, QC).

Shawnee Monchalin

Shawnee Monchalin is of Algonquin and Huron descent from her grandmother, and of Metis descent stemming from her grandfather. This year she will complete her Juris Doctor degree at Peter A. Allard School of Law on the unceded traditional territory of the Musqueam Peoples with a specialization in Aboriginal law.

Monchalin will begin her articles at Miller Thomson LLP in 2020. In 2017, she was the first Indigenous summer student intern with Miller Thomson and took part in reviewing environmental assessments, worked with Indigenous communities on governance, economic development, law implementation and title claims. During her second summer at Miller Thomson, Monchalin participated in a secondment at a client’s land office, where she focused on a variety of land holdings disputes on reserve.

Monchalin was a clinician at the Indigenous Community Legal Clinic, where she worked as pro bono legal counsel for Indigenous clients during her studies. She has been a member, Vice-President and Executive Fundraiser of the Indigenous Law Student’s Association, where she sat on the Women’s Caucus Executive. As part of a directed research, Monchalin spent a semester examining the inequitable division of resource revenue for coastal BC Indigenous communities in the forestry industry. Among other volunteer positions, Monchalin has been an Allard Hall ambassador and legal buddy for incoming and current students.

Outside of the legal community, Monchalin is a dancer for Butterflies in Spirit; a group committed to bringing awareness surrounding the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada and the National Inquiry.