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The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution edited by Oliver, Peter; Macklem, Patrick; Des Rosiers, Nathalie (19th October 2017)

Part I Constitutional History, A Indigenous Legal Systems and Governance, Ch.2 Indigenous Constitutionalism: Pre-existing Legal Genealogies in Canada

John Borrows

From: The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution

Edited By: Peter Oliver, Patrick Macklem, Nathalie Des Rosiers

This chapter examines aspects of Canada’s constitution related to its Indigenous roots. It explores the different ways in which Indigenous peoples in Canada possessed constitutional structures prior to European arrival. Indigenous constitutionalism has provided standards through which Indigenous societies have resisted or engaged with the broader Canadian state. Traditions of Indigenous constitutionalism are varied and diverse because they developed in diverse ecological spaces over vast epochs of time. This vast range of Indigenous constitutional practices has contributed to Canada’s broader constitutional order in many ways. Inuit, Métis, Mikmaq, Haudenosaunee, Anishinaabe, Cree, Secwepmec, and Gitksan constitutional traditions are reviewed to illustrate these themes.

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