Laurie Frederik

MA, School of Law, French
Headshot of Laurie Frederik


In June 2023, I graduated with my JD from the UW School of Law and will be continuing to complete a LLM in Sustainable International Development and Indigenous Rights. My focus during law school has been public interest law and international human rights, and I plan to continue in these areas professionally as an attorney. I came to law school in 2020 from a background in cultural anthropology, where I conducted in-depth research in Cuba and South Africa. My studies have focused on social movements and how different forms of advocacy and activism made a significant difference during times of national transformation. This past year, I began to work with Tribal courts in the United States, and I am expanding this legal work north to Indigenous First Nations communities in Canada. Canadian First Nation law is connected to U.S. Indian law in its long history of colonialism, a similar struggle for self-governance, and the ongoing drive to maintain cultural traditions and identity. As an anthropologist and now also a lawyer, I am very interested in how long standing (since time immemorial) cultural ties transcend national territorial boundaries, and I would like to challenge laws that attempt to legally separate traditional practices. My career goal is to work as an advocate on behalf of Indigenous communities, primarily on the border of Canada and the United States, as well as internationally. To do this, a crucial mode of communication – both spoken and in official legal documents – will be French. I look forward to being part of the Canadian Studies Center this year and am thankful to have the opportunity to become proficient in the language.