May 12, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Judith Sayers Joins The University Of Victoria

3 min read

(News Release) VICTORIA
Oct 14, 2009

A former chief of the Port Alberni Hupacasath First Nation is sharing her expertise with the University of Victoria.

The new position, effective this month, brings Judith Sayers to UVic as entrepreneur-in-resident with UVic Business and as an adjunct professor at UVic Law. Sayers will also be involved in activities related to the National Aboriginal Economic Development Chair (NAEDC) program, headed by Professor James Hopkins who will arrive at UVic in January 2010.

Sayers position is indicative of the importance that both UVic Law and UVic Business place on Aboriginal economic development and its impact on the financial and social well-being of First Nations communities throughout Canada. Were extremely delighted to tap into Ms. Sayers expertise, says Dean of Business Dr. Ali Dastmalchian.

The Faculty of Business has wanted to connect with her for years and we are very pleased she has agreed to work with us to expand our connections with the Aboriginal community. Sayers will be working closely with students and faculty members to raise awareness of issues and challenges related to Aboriginal economic development and she will contribute her considerable knowledge and experience to the universitys ongoing research in this field. We are very pleased to welcome Ms. Sayers to UVic Law, says Dean of Law Donna Greschner. She has a wealth of knowledge to share with our students.

The faculty is a leader in Indigenous legal education and has a long tradition of offering innovative programming and leadership in this area. Her appointment continues that tradition. I am very honoured to be affiliated with the University of Victorias Faculties of Law and Business, says Sayers. I know that, with my experiences, I can contribute knowledge and expertise to the students and faculty that can help broaden the learning and conversations about Aboriginal issues both in law and economic development.

Aboriginal issues are rising in importance and the University of Victoria is one of the leaders in the field with the Chair on Aboriginal Economic Development and I am excited to be a part of this. Sayers holds a business degree and was one of the first Indigenous law school graduates of the University of British Columbia. She also holds an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Queens University.

Sayers practised law for 18 years in Alberta and British Columbia and has extensive experience working with international agencies and government bodies to advance the causes of First Nations rights, sustainable development and Aboriginal title issues.

She was Chief of the Hupacasath First Nation in Port Alberni for 14 years, acted as its chief negotiator for many years, served as president of the Upnit Power Corporation and was also named to the political executive of the First Nation Summit in 2006.

Her many honours include the 2008 Silver Medal in Climate Change from the Canadian Environmental Association, induction into the Canadian Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame and a Bora Laskin Fellowship on Human Rights. She was twice honoured with a Woman of Distinction Award from the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce.–.html

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