First Peoples Law Reading List

Check out this incredible First Peoples Law Reading List, shared and compiled by Bruce McIvor, lawyer and historian, is principal of First Peoples Law Corporation.


Introductory text on Aboriginal law in Canada
Jim Reynolds, Aboriginal Peoples and the Law: A Critical Introduction (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018)

History and analysis of Aboriginal and Treaty rights in Canadian law
Michael Asch, On Being Here to Stay: Treaties and Aboriginal Rights in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014)
John Borrows and Michael Coyle, eds., The Right Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017)
Harold Johnson, Two Families: Treaties and Government (Saskatoon: Purich Publishing, 2007)
Joshua Nichols, A Reconciliation without Recollection? An Investigation of the Foundations of Aboriginal Law in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019)
Kent McNeil, Flawed Precedent: The St. Catherine’s Case and Aboriginal Title (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019)

Essay collections on Canadian law, Indigenous law, and international law
John Borrows, Larry Chartrand, Oonagh E. Fitzgerald and Risa Schwartz, eds., Braiding Legal Orders: Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Waterloo: Centre for International Governance Innovation, 2019)
Karen Drake and Brenda L. Gunn, eds., Renewing Relationships: Indigenous Peoples and Canada (Saskatoon: Native Law Centre, University of Saskatchewan, 2019)

Indigenous law and Canadian constitutionalism
John Borrows, Canada’s Indigenous Constitution (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010)
John Borrows, Freedom and Indigenous Constitutionalism (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016)

Indigenous legal orders
John Borrows, Law’s Indigenous Ethics (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019)
Hadley Friedland, The Wetiko Legal Principles: Cree and Anishinabek Responses to Violence and Victimization (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018)
Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum), Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems (Saskatoon: Purich Publishing, 2015)
Aimée Craft, Breathing Life Into the Stone Fort Treaty: An Anishnabe Understanding of Treaty One (Saskatoon: Purich Publishing, 2013)
John Borrows, Drawing Out Law: A Spirit’s Guide (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010)
Val Napoleon, Ayook: Gitksan Legal Order, Law, and Legal Theory (University of Victoria: PhD Dissertation, 2009)

Aboriginal law case summaries and commentary
Shin Imai, 2019 Annotated Aboriginal Law: The Constitution, Legislation, Treaties and Supreme Court of Canada Case Summaries (Toronto: Thomson Reuters, 2018)
John Borrows and Leonard Rotman, Aboriginal Legal Issues: Cases, Materials & Commentary, 5th Edition (Toronto: LexisNexis, 2018)


Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Volume One, Summary: Honouring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future (Toronto : James Lorimer & Company Ltd., 2015). Available online.

National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report
National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (2019). Available online.

Foundational works of Indigenous anticolonialism in Canada
George Manuel and Michael Posluns, The Fourth World: An Indian Reality (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1974/2019)
Lee Maracle, Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel (Toronto: Women’s Press, 1975/1990)
Harold Cardinal, The Unjust Society: The Tragedy of Canada’s Indians (Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 1969/1999)
Maria Campbell, Halfbreed (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1973/2019)
Howard Adams, Prison of Grass: Canada from a Native Point of View (Markham: Fifth House Books, 1975/1989)
Patricia Monture, Thunder In My Soul: A Mohawk Woman Speaks (Toronto: Brunswick Books, 1995)
Lee Maracle, I am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism (Vancouver: Press Gang Publishing, 2003)

Contemporary histories of Indigenous rights and political activism in Canada
Arthur Manuel, The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy (Toronto: Lorimer, 2017)
Bev Sellars, Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2016)
Pamela Palmater, Indigenous Nationhood: Empowering Grassroots Citizens (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2015)
Arthur Manuel, Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2015)

History and analysis of the Indian Act
Bob Joseph, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality (Brantford: Indigenous Relations Press, 2018)
Mary-Ellen Kelm and Keith D. Smith, Talking Back to the Indian Act: Critical Readings in Settler Colonial Histories (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018)1

Introductory histories of Indigenous-Crown relations in Canada
Whose Land is it Anyways? A Manual for Decolonization (Vancouver: Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC, 2017). Available online.
Thomas King, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (Toronto: Anchor Canada, 2013)
The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement (Winnipeg: ARP Books, 2014)
Bob Joseph, Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality (Brantford: Indigenous Relations Press, 2019)
John Ralston Saul, The Comeback: How Aboriginals are Reclaiming Power and Influence (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2015)

Legal histories of settler colonial law
Brenna Bhandar, Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land, and Racial Regimes of Ownership (Durham: Duke University Press, 2018)
Lindsay G. Robertson, Conquest by Law: How the Discovery of America Dispossessed Indigenous Peoples of their Lands (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
Patrick Wolfe, Traces of History: Elementary Structures of Race (Brooklyn/London: Verso, 2016)

Graphic novel histories
Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm et al, This Place: 150 Years Retold (Winnipeg: HighWater Press, 2019)
Gord Hill, The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2002)
UVic Indigenous Law Research Unit, Mikomosis and the Wetiko (University of Victoria: Indigenous Law Research Unit, 2013)


Essay collection on Indigenous resurgence and reconciliation in Canada
Michael Asch, John Borrows, James Tully, eds., Resurgence and Reconciliation: Indigenous-Settler Relations and Earth Teachings (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018)

Indigenous resurgence and Canadian settler colonialism
Leanne Simpson, As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017)
Audra Simpson, Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014)
Glen Sean Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014)
Elaine Coburn, ed., More Will Sing Their Way to Freedom: Indigenous Resistance and Resurgence (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2015)
Joyce Green, ed., Making Space for Indigenous Feminism (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2017)
Leanne Simpson, Dancing on our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence, and a New Emergence (Winnipeg, Arbeiter Ring Press, 2011)
Taiaiake Alfred, Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005)

Settler decolonization in Canada
Paulette Regan, Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011)
Emma Battell Lowman and Adam J. Barker, Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2015)
Eva Mackey, Unsettled Expectations: Uncertainty, Land, and Settler Decolonization (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2016)
Scott Lauria Morgensen: Spaces Between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011)


Indigenous research methodologies
Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (London: Zed Books, 2012)
Shawn Wilson, Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2008)

Indigenous legal research methodologies
Val Napoleon and Hadley Friedland, “Gathering the Threads: Developing a Methodology for Researching and Rebuilding Indigenous Legal Traditions” (2015) 1:1 Lakehead LJ 16
Val Napoleon and Hadley Friedland, “An Inside Job: Engaging with Indigenous Legal Traditions Through Stories” (2016) 61:4 McGill Law Journal 725
John Borrows, “Heroes, Tricksters, Monsters and Caregivers: Indigenous Laws and Legal Education” (2016) 61 McGill Law Journal
John Borrows, “Outsider Education: Indigenous Law and Land-based Learning” (2016) 33 Windsor Y B Access Just 1


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