Indigenous Youth Outreach Project

Project Summary

LEVEL Justice is a Canadian organization that levels barriers to justice by disrupting prejudice, building empathy, and advancing human rights. Along with PBSC, LEVEL operates the Indigenous Youth Outreach Project, which is a justice education and mentorship program for First Nations, Métis and Inuit youth aged 11-14.

Along with lawyers from McCarthy Tetrault LLP, our law student volunteers and will follow LEVEL’s curriculum to conduct an interactive Mock Trial at the Siksika Outreach School in Siksika Nation. Student volunteers will partake in teaching Indigneous youth about the Canadian criminal justice system through fun activities while incorporating Indigenous pedagogy, such as smudging, feasting, Elder teachings, and a focus on restorative justice. These workshops will prepare the youth to participate in the Mock Trial activity where they take on various courtroom roles including lawyers, jurors, witnesses etc. The goal of the program is to provide Indigenous students with the opportunity to expand their understanding of the justice system, develop critical thinking and leadership skills, and to dream big about their educational goals.

Through a virtual caapcity, student volunteers will be involved in relationship building exercises, identity work, and justice education games and experiences with the program participants. Students assigned to this project will partake in a cultural education training session in October in order to deliver effective presentations in accordance with Indigenous customs.

“This will be my third year working on IYOP and I love working with the kids at the Siksika Reserve. We get to teach the kids about how the justice system operates in an informal, fun, and energetic environment. It has been the absolute highlight of my law school career! ”

Marcie Dear, 3L
Project Lead

“IYOP is unique; it allows law students to teach indigenous youth about the criminal justice system, and watch them enjoy participating in a mock trial and thrive in this setting. The project was incredibly rewarding, and it gave me a new appreciation for the indigenous perspective on the justice system!”

Alejandra Garcia Rivas, 3L
Project Lead

Number of Students and Prerequisites

– 5 students and 2 project leads
– No prerequisites required
– Experience working with youth and/or Indigenous communities is an asset

Area of Law

– Criminal Law
– Indigenous Law
– Court Procedure

Legal Skills

– Delivery of legal information
– Public speaking skills

Project Type

Public Legal Education Project

Timeline and Time Commitment

Student volunteers on this project are expected to volunteer from October 2020 to March 2021 (excluding December 2020). Workshop delivery will take place January-March 2021. October-November 2020 is reserved for resource development and volunteer training per LEVEL Justice’s new training program. The schedule for workshop delivery in January-March 2021 will be decided upon between PBSC, LEVEL, the Project Leaders, and the Supervising Lawyers during the Fall 2020 term, and subject to students’ course schedules and LEVEL’s curriculum developed for the year.

PBSC students are expected to volunteer 3-5 hours per week on all projects. In advance of the workshops, project leads and student volunteers will volunteer no more than 3 hours per week. This time will be used to prepare and practice the materials that will be presented during the workshops. During workshop weeks, all students (including project leads) will volunteer no more than 4 hours per week.

Required Training

All training for this project is schedule and provided by PBSC Calgary. This training will take place in September-October 2020, and will not conflict with students’ course schedules.

In addition to the training provided by LEVEL, the following PBSC training sessions are mandatory to volunteer on this project:
– PBSC Process Overview
– PBSC Ethics and Professional Responsibility Training
– PBSC Anti-Oppression Training
– Westlaw Research Strategies Training

Specific dates and times will be provided once volunteers are placed on their respective projects.

COVID-19 Contingency Plan

Student volunteers on this project will conduct all of their project-related work, training sessions, and meetings remotely for the duration of the project. The possibility of in-person work, training sessions, and meetings is subject to directives from the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Law and Alberta’s public health authority.

How to Apply?

Applications for the 2020/2021 year are now closed. The application deadline for the 2021/2022 cycle will become available August 2021.