This article uses James (Sákéj) Youngblood Henderson’s process to achieving a postcolonial legal consciousness as a methodology to gain greater recognition of Indigenous laws, which I argue will lead to better protection of Indigenous peoples’ lands, territories and resources. First, I show how the liberal basis of the Canadian legal rights paradigm, as currently applied, does not reflect Indigenous peoples’ own understandings of their rights and interests, and results in racist precedents that confine the power and authority of Indigenous peoples over their lands. Referring to other Indigenous scholars, I then discuss Indigenous peoples’ connections with their lands, some of the rights and obligations that stem from this connection, and some of the Indigenous legal principles that govern this relationship. Finally, I turn to international law to demonstrate the ways in which Indigenous peoples’ participation in the definition of their rights to their lands, territories and resources leads to different articulation of rights than is seen in Canadian Aboriginal title jurisprudence.
- Aboriginal peoples,
- land rights,
- Indigenous laws
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/brenda_gunn/1/