December 15, 2017 - 3:15pm
Louise Mandell, Q.C., has been reappointed as Vancouver Island University’s Chancellor, a role she says is close to her heart.
“It is a great gift and responsibility to be given three more years as Chancellor,” said Mandell. “It’s a powerful experience being part of the VIU family. Here education goes beyond the mind – it touches the heart, and education is a force for change and innovation. I am proud of the University’s values and leadership in reconciliation education, which removes barriers to post- secondary education. It provides an education which brings understanding, engendering fresh paths of thinking and action.”
For her first three-year term, Mandell said she had the privilege to experience great reciprocity – something that is rare and beautiful in today’s world.
One of the main highlights for Mandell from her previous term was VIU’s Reconciliation Road. Mandell said she loved how the dialogues were turned over to the participating artists, such as with First Nations artist and master carver Carey Newman creator of the Witness Blanket, which was displayed at the University last fall.
“I thought it was a very impactful thing for VIU to do. Along Reconciliation Road we witnessed the narratives of this talented generation, and experienced the resilience and resurgence of Indigenous laws and culture.”
During her first three years as Chancellor for VIU, Mandell has become known for her passion for education, her kindness and as an ardent ambassador for the University.
“I would like to personally thank Louise for her commitment to passing on knowledge, her tireless spirit and creativity, and her devotion to removing barriers to education,” said Dr. Ralph Nilson, VIU President and Vice-Chancellor. “She embodies many of our core values, which she has demonstrated through her work with First Nations communities and her dedication to recognizing the important role education plays in reconciliation. I have also appreciated her support of student success, helping to ensure VIU remains accessible to all those who wish to pursue post-secondary education.”
Mandell is one of Canada’s foremost Aboriginal rights lawyers and for four decades she devoted her professional life to the advancement of Canada’s Aboriginal and Treaty rights. She entered the area of Aboriginal law in its infancy. Mandell is currently a partner emeritus at Mandell Pinder.
“Her focus on the advancement of Aboriginal and Treaty rights makes her a valuable ambassador who supports the fundamental values of VIU and the community in which we learn,” said Erin L. Brook, President of the VIU Alumni Association Board.
Brook said Mandell makes a special effort to welcome and congratulate each and every graduate who attends convocation.
“Her personal warmth and pride for the achievement of the students echoes that of the Alumni Association and we could not be more pleased to learn that she has been reappointed to the role of Chancellor,” said Brook.
Mandell has been recognized for her achievements with various awards. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1997, received the Georges Goyer Q.C. Memorial Award for exceptional contributions to the development of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights jurisprudence across the country in 2001, and in June 2012 received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Simon Fraser University.
Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University