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Indigenous Peoples and the Law

Comparative and Critical Perspectives

Editor(s): Benjamin J Richardson, Shin Imai, Kent McNeil
Media of Indigenous Peoples and the Law
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Published: 18-03-2009
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 446
ISBN: 9781509942206
Imprint: Hart Publishing
Series: Osgoode Readers
RRP : £37.79

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About Indigenous Peoples and the Law

Indigenous Peoples and the Law provides an historical, comparative and contextual analysis of various legal and policy issues affecting Indigenous peoples. It focuses on the common law jurisdictions of Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United States, as well as relevant international law developments. Edited by Benjamin J Richardson, Shin Imai, and Kent McNeil, this collection of new essays features 13 contributors including many Indigenous scholars, drawn from around the world. The book provides a pithy overview of the subject-matter, enabling readers to appreciate the seminal issues, precedents and international legal trends of most concern to Indigenous peoples.

The first half of Indigenous Peoples and the Law takes an historical perspective of the principal jurisdictions, canvassing, in particular, themes of Indigenous sovereignty, status and identity, and the movement for Indigenous self-determination. It also examines these issues in an international context, including the Inter-American human rights regime and the 2007 UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The second part of the book canvasses some contemporary issues and claims of Indigenous peoples, including land rights, mobility rights, community self-governance, environmental governance, alternative dispute resolution processes, the legal status of Aboriginal women and the place of Indigenous legal traditions and legal theory.

Although an introductory volume designed primarily for readers without advanced understanding of Indigenous legal issues, Indigenous Peoples and the Law should also appeal to seasoned scholars, policy-makers, lawyers and others who are knowledgeable of such issues in their own jurisdiction and wish to learn more about developments in other places.

Table Of Contents

1. Indigenous Peoples and the Law-Historical, Comparative and Contextual Issues
Benjamin J Richardson, Shin Imai, and Kent McNeil
Part 1: Sovereignty, Status and Self-Determination in Historical Perspective
2. Promise and Paradox: The Emergence of Indigenous Rights Law in Canada
Mark D Walters
3. The Dyadic Character of US Indian Law
Benjamin J Richardson
4. Australia: The White House with Lovely Dot Paintings whose Inhabitants have 'Moved on' from History?
Jennifer Clarke
5. The Ma–ori Encounter with Aotearoa: New Zealand's Legal System
Jacinta Ruru
6. The Inter-American System and the Rights of Indigenous Peoples: Human Rights and the Realist Model
James Hopkins
7. Indigenous Peoples and International Law and Policy
Claire Charters
Part 2: Contemporary Claims, Issues and Settlements
8. Indigenous Legal Theory: Some Initial Considerations
Gordon Christie
9. Aboriginal Discourse: Gender, Identity and Community
Val Napoleon
10. Judicial Treatment of Indigenous Land Rights in the Common Law World
Kent McNeil
11. Indigenous Self-Determination and the State
Shin Imai
12. Law of the Land-Recognition and Resurgence in Indigenous Law and Justice Systems
Christine Zuni Cruz
13. The Ties that Bind: Indigenous Peoples and Environmental Governance
Benjamin J Richardson
14. ADR Processes and Indigenous Rights: A Comparative Analysis of Australia, Canada and New Zealand
Michael Coyle
15. Physical Philosophy: Mobility and the Future of Indigenous Rights
John Borrows


“This collection is effective at providing an introduction to common lae legal issues facing Aboriginal peoples and it also can serve as a springboard for more advanced study.

These chapters are highly informative works which examine law as it applies to Indigenous peoples in the following locations: Canada, the United States of America, Australia, New Zealand, Central and South America, and international law and policy elsewhere. The benefit of these articles is twofold. First, the authors hit on many of the major legal issues that Aboriginal people face in each location. The peculiarities in each location show a variety of outcomes from the colonial experience to date and provide valuable points of contrast to the Canadian experience. The second benefit, and one which applies to the entire book, is that the articles are extensively referenced, a habit of citation which is especially helpful to others studying unfamiliar jurisdictions.

I highly recommend this book for anyone interested in studying indigenous legal issues. Whether it is read cover to cover or simply used as a reference for further research, there is something for everyone. It would be a perfect text selection for a course in Native law and I intend on using it in my own upcoming undergraduate courses.

” –  D'Arcy Vermette, The Canadian Journal of Native Studies, Volume 30, No. 2

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