July 28, 2022
Professor Emerita's article named one of best in journal history
"Indigenous Legal Principles: A Reparation Path for Canada’s Cultural Genocide" argues that Canada’s justice system and the lawyers that operate within it are ill prepared to comprehend or reconcile the relationship between colonial legal systems and indigenous systems of law. They do not get training in indigenous law, so vital to crafting appropriate reparations for the wrongs justified by colonial practices and prejudices, and that could open doors to reconciliation and healing. The example used in this article to illustrate how the two systems of law could successfully interact is the historic Indian Residential School Settlement – the largest settlement in Canadian history, almost entirely based on Indigenous law and legal theory, and harmonized in part with principles of the common law of tort. The Indian Residential School Settlement proves that in post-colonial societies western frameworks lack the tools necessary to remediate injuries motivated by systemic discrimination, which, in this case, was cultural genocide. Different perspectives and legal theories are necessary to craft appropriate reparations and the processes used to achieve them. Unless indigenous laws, traditions, and practices are central to the design and implementation of reparations, state responses to the cultural genocide perpetrated against indigenous peoples in Canada will not open pathways to either healing or reconciliation.
2021 marked the 50th anniversary of the American Review of Canadian Studies, a refereed, multidisciplinary, quarterly journal. Published since 1971 by the Association for Canadian Studies in the United States (ACSUS), American Review of Canadian Studies examines Canada and the Canadian point of view from an American perspective. Its articles - both interdisciplinary and disciplinary - explore Canada’s arts, cultures, economics, politics, history, society and environment, recognizing Canada’s distinctive position in the world.