Course ID: 207457


This course examines the legal and constitutional rights of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. It considers the legal legacy of Canada's colonial past ; the implications, that is, for the present constitutional order of European settlement in territories that were occupied and governed by indigenous peoples. Much of the course focuses upon the interpretation of section 35 of the Constitutional Act, 1982, which entrenches 'existing aboriginal and treaty rights'. Particular attention will therefore be given to Aboriginal rights to lands, natural resources, and self-government, as well as the identification and interpretation of Aboriginal treaty rights. In the course of addressing these topics, we will confront constitutional issues relating to federalism and human rights, theoretical issues relating to legal interpretation in a cross-cultural setting, comparisons with indigenous rights in other former colonies, and the status of indigenous peoples and rights under international law. The general purpose of the course, then, is to examine the possibilities and challenges associated with Canada's multi-national and legally-pluralist constitutional order from a variety of legal, cultural, and theoretical perspectives.

Components: Seminar

Assessment Method: 

Degree Requirement Fulfilled: