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Law Indigenous Peoples

Wise Practices

Exploring Indigenous Economic Justice and Self-Determination

edited by Robert Hamilton, John Borrows, Brent Mainprize, Ryan Beaton & Joshua Ben David Nichols

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Indigenous Peoples, General, General
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
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  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
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  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2021
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Indigenous peoples in Canada are striving for greater economic prosperity and political self-determination. Investigating specific legal, economic, and political practices, and including research from interviews with Indigenous political and business leaders, this collection seeks to provide insights grounded in lived experience. Covering such critical topics as economic justice and self-determination, and the barriers faced in pursuing each, Wise Practices sets out to understand the issues not in terms of sweeping empirical findings but through particular experiences of individuals and communities. The choice to focus on specific practices of law and governance is a conscious rejection of idealized theorizing about law and governance and represents an important step beyond the existing scholarship.


This volume offers readers a broad scope of perspectives, incorporating contemporary thought on Indigenous law and legal orders, the impact of state law on Indigenous peoples, theories and practices of economic development, and grounded practices of governances. While the authors address a range of topics, each does so in a way that sheds light on how Indigenous practices of law and governance support the social and economic development of Indigenous peoples.

About the authors

Robert has called Vancouver home since 1982, but grew up in the small town of Northern, New Brunswick. As he reaches his golden years, it feels like he's been writing forever - poetry, short stories, scripts for stage and film, and journaling his gay life since 1988. He is a past Canadian Film Centre Writer Resident, twice Praxis Fellow, and most recently a participant in the Playwright Theatre Centre's Wrightspace Residency program, work shopping his current stage play, based on his memoir, Our Story: Coming Out in the Times of HIV and AIDS.

He has been in love with theatre, the movies, and television all his life, and writing has saved his sanity. His heroes in high school were not the jocks, but those who acted in the school plays. If high school was not prison enough, he followed that up with eighteen years of working in Corrections, as a jail guard, Probation Officer, and Community Correctional Worker. For the last fifteen years, in his favorite "day job" of all, he's been working on the front lines of poverty, addiction, and homelessness, with the disadvantaged in Vancouver's Downtown South.

Robert Hamilton's profile page

John Borrows is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria and is the winner of both the Canadian Political Science Association’s Donald Smiley Prize (for Recovering Canada) and the Canadian Law and Society Association Book Prize (for Canada’s Indigenous Constitution)..

John Borrows' profile page

Brent Mainprize is a professor in the Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria.

Brent Mainprize's profile page

Ryan Beaton is a PhD Candidate in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria.

Ryan Beaton's profile page

Joshua Ben David Nichols is currently studying law at the University of British Columbia and has previously been a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria. He specializes in modern continental philosophy, especially Hegel, the Frankfurt School, and contemporary French thought. His primary area of research is political and legal philosophy with an emphasis on questions of violence and sovereignty.

Joshua Ben David Nichols' profile page

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