Canada is covered by a system of law and governance that largely obscures and ignores the presence of pre-existing Indigenous regimes. Indigenous law, however, has continuing relevance for both Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian state. In his in-depth examination of the continued existence and application of Indigenous legal values, John Borrows suggests how First Nations laws could be applied by Canadian courts, and tempers this by pointing out the many difficulties that would occur if the courts attempted to follow such an approach. By contrasting and comparing Aboriginal stories and Canadian case law, and interweaving political commentary, Borrows argues that there is a better way to constitute Aboriginal / Crown relations in Canada. He suggests that the application of Indigenous legal perspectives to a broad spectrum of issues that confront us as humans will help Canada recover from its colonial past, and help Indigenous people recover their country. Borrows concludes by demonstrating how Indigenous peoples' law could be more fully and consciously integrated with Canadian law to produce a society where two world views can co-exist and a different vision of the Canadian constitution and citizenship can be created.
About the Author
John Borrows is a professor and Law Foundation Chair in Aboriginal Justice in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria and Robina Professor in Law and Public Policy at the University of Minnesota Law School.