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Plus, Victoria police seek an art thief. Call Danny Ocean.
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TOGETHER WITH

Good morning, and congratulations!

We made it to the end of the week. As the weather’s been improving, I’ve been eyeing a return to the Millstream disc golf course. Golf never made much sense to me (at the age of 8 or thereabouts, I hammer-swung a putter into the green, thus beginning and ending my dalliance with the sport), but disc golf, I can get behind: no green fees, no khakis, just a plastic disc, and a walk in the woods. Solitude, really, is what I’m after.

Congratulations are also in order to the first graduating class of UVic’s Indigenous law program—more on that story below. Plus, we’ve got your thoughts on COVID-19 mandates lifting in BC.

Martin,
newsletter editor

Amanda Vick is among the Indigenous law program’s inaugural graduating class. Photo supplied.
UVic’s Indigenous law program graduates its first class
In a global first, the inaugural class of UVic’s Indigenous law program—the world’s first law degree to combine Indigenous and non-Indigenous laws—will graduate this spring. Four years ago, the university launched the program with a joint focus on Canadian common law and Indigenous legal orders.

The 23-student cohort graduates with an understanding of 55 Indigenous legal orders, alongside Canadian constitutional law and common law. The graduating class will mark the milestone with a special recognition event at the Songhees Wellness Centre this evening—an occasion that not only carries significance for the graduates, but for those that preceded them.

"Over 27 years ago, a group of Indigenous law professors dreamed about teaching Indigenous law in law schools," says John Borrows, a Canada Research Chair in Indigenous law and co-founder of the program. "Now, the first JD/JID graduating class is ready to live these dreams and make real their own hopes, aspirations, and futures."

"Law is, in effect, a way to create meaning, and to understand the world. Your existence is entirely tied up in law—most people don't see that—it's implicit," Val Napoleon, interim dean of law, co-founder of the program, and Law Foundation Chair of Indigenous Justice and Governance at UVic, told Capital Daily.

"When you think about how important Canadian law is to people, all of those reasons are exactly why Indigenous law is important to Indigenous people."

While the program is the first of its kind, Napoleon says there’s been interest in other parts of the world, including with the Māori people in New Zealand.

‘Excited and humbled’
For Amanda Vick, a graduating student and member of the Gitxsan Nation, the degree—which spans a wide range of legal areas, from Indigenous governance, to criminal law, to environmental law—comes with an added purpose.

"I felt both excited for the journey and humbled by the responsibility gifted to me," she says of her studies. "We need more people in the legal sphere who are able to appreciate and utilize the knowledge of different legal orders in their practice."

For fellow graduate Beth Fox, a Blood Tribe member from Treaty Seven Territory in southern Alberta, one of the greatest benefits has come from the cross-cultural opportunities provided.

"One of the highlights for me was attending field school in Coast Salish territory," she says. "Because we had invested so much time and learning in the Coast Salish legal order and the Hul'qumi'num language, being able to be out there on the land and to connect our learning really made a huge impact on me."

Capital Bulletin

🌦 Today’s Victoria weather: Mix of sun and cloud, with 40% chance of afternoon showers. Windy. High of 11C. Low 4.

📈 New Statistics Canada data shows a net 100,797 people moved to BC in 2021, the highest total since 1961. Net migration accounts for the total number of people who moved from outside the province, minus those who left.

🎸 Laketown Shakedown festival warns Islanders of a Facebook account impersonating the festival and messaging people to offer fake ticket prizes

Graphs: Brishti Basu/Capital Daily
How Capital Daily readers feel about BC lifting all public health restrictions today
On Wednesday, we asked you, our readers, to share your thoughts about public health restrictions ending today, and you did not disappoint!

A big thank you to the many—and we mean manywho reached out to share your thoughts on this new phase of the pandemic after two years of public health measures. Whether you agree with the direction BC is taking—and with our coverage of the pandemic—or not, it’s always helpful to hear about the issues most important to our community as we move forward.

We can’t respond to all of you, but after going through your emails, we’ve created the above charts to showcase what Capital Daily readers think about the province lifting restrictions and reducing the amount of public health data available to us, and some of the main reasons behind your opinions.

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Capital Picks

🏃‍♂️ Keep runnin’, runnin’: This Saturday, Esquimalt is hosting its 5km run open to all ages and abilities, along with a 1km Kids Fun Run. There will be refreshments and prizes at the Archie Browning Sports Centre. Find out more details here.

💫 Get ready for your best adventure yet! Find out why Berwick has a reputation for offering an unparalleled standard of living with the amenities of a friendly and vibrant community.*

🎹 Jazz, fun, and soul shenanigans: The 4-man Wes Carroll Confabulation headlines a double-billing at Vinyl Envy tonight, featuring the neo soul/indie act Ranger as the opener. The Confab’s 2018 album Off Empire reached #4 in national campus and community radio plays for the jazz category. Details and tickets here.

🚗 VINN aims to help consumers through the car-shopping process. Save 40 hours in market research and let one of our vehicle experts find your perfect car today, and they do it all for free.*

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COVID Updates: April 7

Island Health

  • 377 new cases (from March 27-April 2) / 33,435 total
  • 3 new deaths (241 total) / 47 in hospital / 3 in ICU

BC

  • 1,706 new cases (from March 27-April 2) / 357,242 total
  • 11 new deaths (3,004 total) / 324 in hospital / 38 in ICU

In Other News

🚒 Colwood firefighters pull unconscious resident from burning house
Crews arrived at the St. Troy Place home just after 2am on Thursday and administered CPR before the occupant was taken to hospital. "The heart of every firefighter who attended is pulling for that individual," the Colwood department told the Times Colonist.

🐟 Salmon fry make long-awaited return to Bowker Creek
After nearly a 100-year absence, the first chum salmon eggs have hatched in Bowker Creek—the result of a years-long volunteer-led effort to restore the watershed. "Our hope is that by transforming the creek… we can encourage residents and local governments to recognize Bowker Creek as more than just a piece of stormwater infrastructure, but actually as a diverse ecosystem in our community," said volunteer Brandon Williamson. Read our in-depth piece on the salmon hatchery and what it means for the bioregion’s health—and catch up on the latest in Ryan Hook’s Oak Bay Local exclusive.

📚 VIRL librarians’ strike carries into second month
Unionized workers at Vancouver Island’s largest library system are escalating job action, more than a month after they first issued a 72-hour strike notice on Feb. 25. As Capital Daily has reported, the union representing librarians—which includes members in Sooke and Sidney—says they have been without a contract since December 2020. Branches in Cowichan Lake, Comox, and Nanaimo picketed Thursday.

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In Case You Missed It

🖼 Sounds like a job for Ocean’s Eleven: Victoria police are on the lookout for an art thief after an E.J. Hughes drawing worth $6,500 went missing from a View Street art gallery. Though the "Sooke Harbour" piece is deemed to have been missing since June 2021, the theft was only discovered in February.

🏊‍♀️ Saanich to close Gordon Head pool for most of summer: The Gordon Head Recreation Centre’s pools will close starting May 1 as the district makes repairs to a crack in the 2nd-floor mechanical room. All pool services will be closed until early September. The rest of the rec centre remains open.

🤝 Now Hiring: Administrative Coordinator & Donor Relations at 1Up Victoria Single Parent Resource Centre. Find this and other job openings on YYJobs.

🏄‍♀️ Members of the board, unite: Surfers from across Canada will flock to Tofino this weekend for the 2022 Rip Curl Pro Nationals—a precursor to the World Longboard Championships. Island surfers Mathea Olin and Reed Platenius will look to defend their titles in the women’s and men’s competitions.

🗡️ Opera’s back at the Royal Theatre and so is Mozart’s infamous scoundrel Don Giovanni. Live performances on April 20 to 26, tickets from $29. For tickets visit PacificOpera.ca.*
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