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Law General

Creating Indigenous Property

Power, Rights, and Relationships

edited by Angela Cameron, Sari Graben & Val Napoleon

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2020
General, Native American Studies, General
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2020
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2020
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2020
    List Price

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While colonial imposition of the Canadian legal order has undermined Indigenous law, creating gaps and sometimes distortions, Indigenous peoples have taken up the challenge of rebuilding their laws, governance, and economies. Indigenous conceptions of land and property are central to this project.


Creating Indigenous Property identifies how contemporary Indigenous conceptions of property are rooted in and informed by their societally specific norms, meanings, and ethics. Through detailed analysis, the authors illustrate that unexamined and unresolved contradictions between the historic and the present have created powerful competing versions of Indigenous law, legal authorities, and practices that reverberate through Indigenous communities. They have identified the contradictions and conflicts within Indigenous communities about relationships to land and non-human life forms, about responsibilities to one another, about environmental decisions, and about wealth distribution. Creating Indigenous Property contributes to identifying the way that Indigenous discourses, processes, and institutions can empower the use of Indigenous law.


The book explores different questions generated by these dynamics, including: Where is the public/private divide in Indigenous and Canadian law, and why should it matter? How do land and property shape local economies? Whose voices are heard in debates over property and why are certain voices missing? How does gender matter to the conceptualization of property and the Indigenous legal imagination? What is the role and promise of Indigenous law in negotiating new relationships between Indigenous peoples and Canada? In grappling with these questions, readers will join the authors in exploring the conditions under which Canadian and Indigenous legal orders can productively co-exist.

About the authors

Angela Cameron received her LLB from Dalhousie University in 1998, and was admitted to the Nova Scotia Bar in 1999. She received her LLM from the University of British Columbia in 2003 and her Doctorate from the University of Victoria in 2012. She was an SSHRC Doctoral Fellow, and a President’s Research Scholar at the University of Victoria. Professor Cameron’s research is generally in the area of social justice, with a particular focus on the equality interests of women. Professor Cameron’s research areas include criminal law, restorative justice, property law, reproductive technologies law, family law, legal theory, sociological approaches to law, and human rights law. She is the administrator of


Angela Cameron's profile page

Sari Graben is Assistant Professor in the Department of Law & Business in the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University.

Sari Graben's profile page

Val Napoleon is the Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the University of Victoria.

Val Napoleon's profile page

Editorial Reviews

"I would strongly recommend this collection as an important vehicle for developing a better understanding of how the ‘capitalist-exploitation logic’ informs our relationships with Indigenous Peoples in this country."

<em>Canadian Law Library Review</em>

"Ultimately, with thorough examinations of Canadian legal instruments affecting Indigenous land and property rights, and lessons from the transnational context, Creating Indigenous Property examines ways to facilitate the debate on Indigenous land rights, promoting respect for Indigenous peoples diverse views and laws and exploring their compatibilization with Western legal mechanisms and systems. It is a very valuable collection for advocates of Indigenous land rights, policymakers, and scholars, in Canada and elsewhere."

<em>American Society of International Law</em>

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