Seeking to Understand Indigenous Law and its Codification through Community Based Research

Authors: Nicole Latulippe*, Universtity of Toronto Scarborough
Topics: Indigenous Peoples
Keywords: Indigenous laws; Indigenous knowledge and governance; Community Based Research
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Chairman's Boardroom, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This presentation describes the role of community-based research (CBR) in documenting or codifying Indigenous laws and governance practices. It is based on research with an Anishinabek community that seeks to identify opportunities for Indigenous legal traditions in establishing the foundations of contemporary sectoral self-government negotiations through the First Nation Land Management Act (FNLMA). The FNLMA has existed for two decades, with over 90 First Nations involved in the process and the potential desire to join expressed by many others. Despite such widespread interest, very little is described in the scholarly literature about how some First Nations are Indigenizing their land management regimes as they opt out of the lands provisions of the Indian Act through the FNLMA. Further, there is a dearth of attention on the role of CBR among other effective and culturally appropriate methods for engaging Indigenous legal traditions. While the topic and the research itself is enmeshed in but not foreclosed by settler-colonial constraints (i.e. state-led self-government policies), CBR highlights the work of Indigenous geographers and others who illustrate the utility of friction, gaps, and confusion in the research process. In my experience, these limits to knowing can be productive when the researcher and research process are grounded in context and relationships. Relational accountability allows for distinctive, useful and capacious theory, methodology, and praxis to emerge across a range of challenges and opportunities.

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