Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association - Support for LU Faculty of Law & Gichi Kendaasiwin Project
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May 31, 2011

The Honourable Michael Gravelle
Thunder Bay-Superior North
101-215 Van Norman St
Thunder Bay, ON P7A 4B6
Via Email:

Dear Minister Gravelle:


I am writing to express the enthusiastic support of the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association for two vital projects at Lakehead University.

Lakehead University Faculty of Law
The law school will focus on access to justice in northern and rural communities, paying special attention to aboriginal and natural resources issues. The law school will foster a commitment to public service and leadership by supplementing core programs with legal clinics and public interest programs.  This unique project addresses some of the geographic challenges associated with post secondary legal scholarship, placing students first and helping reduce some of the significant costs incurred by studying elsewhere.

Moreover the Faculty of Law is designed to achieve many of the successes realized by the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, by encouraging graduates to practice in northern and rural communities. Having legal scholars trained in Northern Ontario will assist economic development as graduates will have an appreciation and training in Aboriginal, small practice, and natural resource concerns.

Gichi Kendaasiwin Project
For the growing Aboriginal population in Ontario, Lakehead University will continue to be the “University of First Choice” for Aboriginal students by providing community-centered, shared learning programs and services. The Gichi Kendaasiwin Project is a $45M effort that would ensure increased success of Aboriginal learners by improving access and participation, completion, transitions/ partnerships.  The Gichi Kendaasiwin Project will ultimately advance and revitalize the knowledge and culture of Indigenous peoples in Ontario for future generations through research, technology and cultural activities.

These two initiatives are invaluable to the growth and support of Lakehead University and the region of Northwestern Ontario.  We look forward to your Government’s support and commitment to ongoing funding for these projects.

Ron Nelson, President

Graciously supported by

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Partnered with