Calvin Bricker, a Métis student at the University of Saskatchewan College of Law, was recently announced as the inaugural winner of the Brian A. Crane/Gowling WLG Indigenous Law Student Scholarship.
Established in 2018 by Gowling WLG in partnership with the University of Saskatchewan's Wiyasiwewin Mikiwahp Native Law Centre (NLC), the $5,000 scholarship supports Indigenous students who are pursuing a career in law.
The scholarship also recognizes the longstanding and significant contributions of Gowling WLG partner Brian Crane to the firm and the development of Indigenous law in Canada. Often described as a "senior statesman" in his field, Crane is an influential practitioner who has served as a mentor to young lawyers, including many from Indigenous backgrounds.
Bricker grew up in Saskatoon and earned an undergraduate degree in cognitive science from York University. He became interested in a legal career and, last summer, was accepted into the NLC program, which offers an intensive two-month curriculum that helps prepare Indigenous students for the rigours of law school.
"The program has taught me invaluable skills as I entered into my first year of law school," Bricker said. "I believe it has had a major influence on reconciliation by getting Indigenous lawyers into the judicial system as well as closing the education gap and teaching Indigenous students how to excel at law school."
As the first recipient of the scholarship, Bricker expressed his gratitude to Gowling WLG and to Brian Crane for the financial support he received.
"I'm honoured and humbled to have been given this entrance scholarship. I want to acknowledge that I will work hard to become a lawyer who has the ability to pay forward the generosity of you and your firm and create a positive impact on my community."
Since the 1950s, Gowling WLG has been at the forefront of Indigenous law in Canada. The firm has worked alongside Canada's First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples in landmark self-government agreements, resource development projects and Supreme Court cases. Gowling WLG is one of the only full-service law firms in Canada that acts for Indigenous clients as well as private industry, project proponents and all levels of government.