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(Frequently Asked Questions)

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  1. What is the referendum question?

    • Do you agree to the creation of a new ancillary fee of $6.00 per semester for the Indigenous Law Student Governance (“ILSG”) to fund programming for Indigenous students and represent the interests of Indigenous legal traditions at the Faculty of Law?

  2. What is the ILSG?

    • The Indigenous Law Student Governance (ILSG) is a student government dedicated to representing and advocating for the interests of Indigenous law students while also playing an advocacy role for the inclusion of Indigenous legal traditions (ILT) within Canadian legal education.

  3. What is the UOSU?

    • The UOSU is the University of Ottawa Students’ Union. It is a not-for-profit corporation registered with the federal government and must respect the rules outlined in the Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act (CNCA). The CNCA, the UOSU Constitution, and the UOSU policies and positions govern it.

    • The UOSU Constitution is the supreme document governing the Students’ Union and must be followed. The Constitution indicates that UOSU’s mandate includes “advocating on behalf of and providing services to undergraduate students at the University of Ottawa.” It also governs the rules pertaining to Elections and UOSU’s obligations to Recognized Student Governments (RSGs).

  4. How do student governments receive funding?

    • The UOSU Constitution Article XV states that each recognized student government shall receive $12.00 per student it represents.

    • The UOSU collects student levies and distributes them to the appropriate services and student governments.

  5. How much of my student fees go to student government funding?

    • On your account statement, the current student UOSU fees are roughly $112 per semester. Of that, $6.00 per semester goes to your respective student government.

    • ILSG requesting $6.00 per semester per student aligns with the funding received by the AÉCLSS and AED, the other recognized student governments for the Common Law and Civil Law sections at the University of Ottawa.

  6. Why should I have to pay an additional $6.00 per semester to ILSG?

    • The UOSU Constitution was drafted prior to ILSG becoming a recognized student government. Their Constitution states that every student government shall receive $12.00 per student it represents. Students in the Faculty of Law are in a unique position as they are represented by two student governments, either the AED or AÉCLSS and the ILSG.

    • ILSG does not receive any funding as the money is directed to the AED and AÉCLSS. Currently, ILSG does not receive any of the funds collected through the UOSU student fees for RSGs. As a result, a significant funding gap exists. We need adequate funding, just like AED and AÉCLSS to be able to fulfill our mandate. Establishing an ILSG student fee means you would be paying an equal amount to the student governments that represent you.

  7. How much of my tuition will go to ILSG funding?

    • Tuition expenses do not go towards funding for student governments. Instead, the student government receives funding through the University of Ottawa Students’ Union (UOSU) fees. This shows up as roughly $112 on your statement of account.

  8. Why does ILSG need funding?

    • Indigenous students need a particular representation within the Faculty of Law, Common Law and Civil Law Section, which requires funding

    • On November 12th, 2020, the ILSG became a recognized student government (“RSG”) at the University of Ottawa within the Faculty of Law.

    • The ILSG has been operating since its establishment in November 2020 without collecting any student fees.

    • The ILSG will play an important advocacy role within the Faculty of Law. Just as Common Law and Civil Law legal traditions are represented in our Faculty, Indigenous legal traditions need equal representation.

  9. Has ILSG tried asking the UOSU for funding?

    • ILSG has exhausted all other means of trying to secure funding. Without a referendum, the UOSU cannot provide funds to the ILSG as they only collect the amount necessary from each student.

    • ILSG has also had extensive conversations throughout the 2021-22 school year with the AED and AÉCLSS to try to redistribute funding. These attempts were not successful as issues arose over what an equitable amount would be and how the other student governments would operate with fewer funds.

    • We concluded by saying that each student government should receive $6.00 per semester ($12.00 per year) from each student they represent. So, the ILSG is undertaking this referendum to secure the same funding as the AED and AÉCLSS. This way, you can continue to receive the same level of service, advocacy and events from all student governments.

  10. Who does the ILSG represent?

    • The ILSG represents both the needs of Indigenous students and Indigenous legal traditions within the Faculty of Law. The interests the ILSG represents are a benefit all students

    • The ILSG acts as an essential resource for the Faculty of Law in supporting and promoting Indigenous legal traditions curriculums being developed and rolled out to all law students in the form of a mandatory course, in accordance with the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action 27 and 28.

  11. Why can’t ILSG just collect fees from Indigenous learners?

    • The ILSG is in a unique position because Indigenous students do not have to self-identify as Indigenous, nor does the ILSG have access to the identities of every Indigenous student within the Faculty of Law due to human rights and privacy considerations.

    • Neither UOSU nor ILSG would be able to confirm the number of students represented by the ILSG, and the ILSG would not be able to operate on the collection of fees from Indigenous students alone.

    • The collection of additional fees solely from Indigenous students would lead to financial inequities and create barriers for Indigenous students to accessing services provided by other student governments who they are also represented by (AED / AÉCLSS).

  12. Why doesn’t the ILSG charge for participating in events instead?

    • Charging participants for events will lead to inequities and create barriers for accessing services provided by the ILSG. his would also create financial accessibility concerns amongst student governments as AED and AÉCLSS have guaranteed funding, and ILSG’s would be based on selling tickets, hosting large events, etc. This would take away from our ability to fulfill our mandate in representing Indigenous legal traditions within the faculty and advocating for Indigenous students.

  13. What does ILSG hope to accomplish in the future?

    • As the first recognized Indigenous Law Student Government in the country, ILSG advocates for the interests of Indigenous law students. By empowering Indigenous law students, we hope to ensure there is space for and recognition of Indigenous knowledge and legal traditions at the University of Ottawa. By doing this, ILSG at the University of Ottawa is disrupting the long-term legacy of colonialism that has dominated legal education in Canada.

    • In the future, ILSG hopes to continue to run important initiatives such Orange Shirt Day, representing the University of Ottawa at Indigenous Bar Association Events, hosting educational events for the entirety of the law student community, hosting admission events for prospective Indigenous law students, providing funding for events for equity-seeking communities to promote cross-cultural collaboration, and continuing to represent the interests of Indigenous law students.

  14. How will this funding help ILSG achieve its goals?

    • The funding ILSG receives will be used to fulfill ILSG’s mandate of advocating for the interests of Indigenous law students, and promoting reconciliation at the Faculty of Law. The funding will ensure there are adequate resources and supports in place for Indigenous learners, and will benefit the broader student community at FTX by ensuring Indigenous students are empowered in their pursuit of legal education.

    • With this funding, ILSG will be able to create and hold different events to promote Indigenous Legal Traditions (ILT) and facilitate learning. For example, in March ILSG and the Centre for Environmental Law and Global Sustainability will host a World Water Day panel, open to all students and faculty at the University of Ottawa.

    • With support from our peers, ILSG hopes to benefit all students within the Faculty of Law, and to promote UOttawa’s law program as a safe and welcoming space for Indigenous learners and leaders within our community.

  15. Does ILSG have the support of the other student governments at the Faculty of Law?

    • The ILSG has the support of the AÉCLSS and AED. Both student governments acknowledge the importance and benefits of the ILSG obtaining adequate funding.

    • ILSG is committed to transparency and will work with the AÉCLSS and the AED to host events and provide services that support all students.

  16. How will Civil Law students be represented?

    • The ILSG is a recognized student government in the Common Law and Civil Law sections. Indigenous Civil Law students have always been welcome on the ILSG executive. However, we only have one student on the ILSG in the programme de droit canadien. We hope to have more engagement from Indigenous civil law students in the future, as well as students completing the Certificat en droit autochtone.

    • Le Cercle de droit autochtone is a student-ally club in the Civil Law section for students interested in Aboriginal and Indigenous law to come together to host events. This club was founded in __. In 2021, ILSG, with the support of the AED and the AÉCLSS, became involved in the club governance of the Cercle. In 2023, the Cercle will permanently join the ILSG as our first-ever club. This club will act as a space for non-Indigenous allies to join and promote the education of Indigenous legal traditions. The Cercle will also have an important advocacy role in promoting ILSG’s events and activities within the Civil Law Section. ILSG also commits to allocating a portion of funding to The Cercle to ensure they are supported in administrative activities as well as assisting with events and education in the Civil Law Section.

    • The ILSG is committed to assisting all Civil Law students in their learning journey of Indigenous legal traditions and looks forward to working with the spokesperson of the Cercle to achieve this goal. 

  17. How do I vote?

    • Look out in your uOttawa email inbox for an email from the UOSU around March 5th. Their email will detail the voting procedures for their general elections. ILSG’s referendum question will be on the general election ballot. You will log into your account and vote electronically. 

    • If you have any general questions, please email to:


Finance questions:

  1. How will ILSG ensure it is being transparent about funding from UOSU? 

    • If ILSG is successful in the referendum to receive funding, the organization will be mandated to produce 2 audits per year for UOSU. They do not post individual student government audits, but they post their own audits which students can review.

    • Additionally, ILSG is dedicated to following the financial policies created for and by the organization generally.

  2. Does ILSG funding that ILSG receives take away funds from the other student governments?

    • ILSG’s future funding will not result in any other student government losing funding. We are campaigning for the student body to pay additional funds to help ILSG ensure we are on a level playing field with other student governments.

    • Because ILSG’s funding will not affect any other student government’s funding, CLSS and AED will continue to be able to utilize their full operating budgets as they do now, and students should not expect to see a decrease in activity front those student governments.

  3. For a more detailed breakdown of how ILSG intends to use this funding, please see the following list of activities/needs for funding:

    • Sending Indigenous students from UOttawa’s Faculty of Law to Indigenous Bar Association Events.

    • Assuring affiliate clubs, like The Cercle, can receive portions of funding to act as an extension of ILSG.

    • Textbook Drives for Indigenous learners.

    • World Water Day 2024 Event

    • Participating and offering support to other clubs wanting to host environmental, Indigenous or ILT events.

    • Orange Shirt Day Event

    • Recruitment of Indigenous students via community events and engagement

    • Participating in speaking and educational opportunities where they arise as representatives of ILSG and UOttawa’s Faculty of Law.

    • Having a presence at Uottawa Open House Events

    • Budgeting for merchandise, marketing campaigns, supplies, catering, etc. for events requiring such supports

    • Maintaining administrative functions (e.g., web accounts that ILSG needs to function as a student government).

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