November 1, 2023
Spotlights on Youth Interview with Rose Victoria Adams
Edition #12 – November 2024

Who are you and how did you start with the career that you are currently in? (What were your dreams or aspirations when you were younger?

My name is Rose Victoria Adams. I am originally from Kuujjuaq but I have grown up and spent most of my life in Montreal for my education.

I became a lawyer a year ago. Ever since then, I have been working at Dionne Schulze, a Montreal law firm which provides legal advice and representation to Indigenous governments, organizations and individuals, in all areas of law.

When I was in college, I worked at Makivvik for a few summers. I saw the work that the lawyers at Makivvik were doing, and it was then that I decided that I wanted to become a lawyer. I wanted to be able to advocate and fight for the rights of Inuit and other Indigenous peoples.

Is there anyone in specific that you looked up to with the current career that you are in?

The work that Siila Watt-Cloutier has done in Canada and internationally to defend Inuit rights has always been a great source of inspiration to me.

I also look up to the signatories of the JBNQA, who managed to represent the Inuit of Nunavik and do great work in the face of oppression, with very little resources. I got to know the late Tommy Cain Sr. when I was a child, and I have a great amount of respect for him.

Do you have any advice to the youth who may want to become a Lawyer?

Be patient. Becoming a lawyer takes a lot of time. After high school, I went to college for two years. After college, I was lucky enough to be accepted into law school at McGill University straight away. The law program at McGill is a joint degree – meaning that you graduate with two degrees – so it took me four years to complete. After that, I had to go to Bar school for half a year and pass the Bar exams, and then do a six-month internship, which is required to become licensed to practice law in Quebec. All in all, it took me seven years to become a lawyer!

Not only is it important to be patient, but it is also very important to have a strong support system. I couldn’t have done it without my family and friends, that were there to lift me up when I was feeling discouraged. The financial support from KI was also invaluable.

Besides all the work you do, what is the thing you love to do when you have your time off? Few examples (Go boating, sewing, go for walks, etc..)

I like to read books and go for walks with my dog, Birdie. I also love to spend time with my family when I can, especially my 5-year-old sauniq, Tiana-Rose.

Would you like to share anything else to youth in Nunavik?

Your traditional knowledge is just as valuable – if not more – than any degree. Before Qallunaat laws and education systems came into Inuit Nunangat, Inuit had their own systems of customary laws and knowledge. By getting a Southern education, I unfortunately feel like I missed out a lot on learning about my culture. Try to learn from your elders while you can, their experience and knowledge is precious.

That being said, I hope more Inuit will become lawyers!

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What is Uvikkait Ullumi?

Uvikkait Ullumi is a newspaper that highlights youth achievements, initiatives and concerns in the region. This project also passes on relevant information and promotes plenty of opportunities in order to inspire and empower the younger generations to become more active in the region. The newspaper is offered in both Inuktitut and English.