Indigenous law as a source of Canadian law
On the latest podcast of Modern Law, law professor Tuma Young, KC, discusses what the revitalization of Indigenous law in Canada really means.
The last decade has been a fascinating time for the revival of Indigenous law in Canada – from the Supreme Court of Canada's Tsilhqot'in ruling in 2014, the first to establish Aboriginal land title for a First Nation to
the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's calls to action to promote indigenous law, and later the adoption of two laws, in BC and by the federal government, that advance the implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). These developments are the latest chapters in a considerable effort to reconcile Aboriginal and Crown constitutional and legal orders.
If anything, this show is about the law's ability to keep pace with change. So, it's essential we have conversations that help us better understand what it means to revitalize Indigenous law as a source of law in the Canadian legal framework – on par, as it was intended to be, with common and civil legal traditions.
In the latest episode of Modern Law, law professor Tuma Young, KC, and I discuss what revitalizing Indigenous law means conceptually and how that can be at odds with some people's understanding of legal pluralism. We also discuss how Indigenous and non-Indigenous legal orders in Canada can interact across vastly different conceptions of governance.
Young, who grew up in the traditions of the Eskasoni First Nation, is a researcher and an assistant professor in Indigenous studies and political science at Cape Breton University (CBU). He also served as the Nova Scotia Barrister's Society's first Indigenous president in 2021-2022.