In Part 2 of this two-part series, our panel continues their discussion on Indigenous laws and legal traditions, with a focus on the way forward. They discuss some of the work that is already taking place in Indigenous communities to revitalize Indigenous legal traditions and to exercise governance authority within the Canadian context more broadly, including over water. They also discuss some of the opportunities for more areas of Indigenous jurisdiction, and how to take steps to implement the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Aimée Craft is an Indigenous (Anishinaabe-Métis) lawyer from Treaty 1 territory in Manitoba and an award-winning professor and researcher at the University of Ottawa. Since 2013, Professor Craft has led research on Anishinaabe water law. Her award-winning book, Breathing Life Into the Stone Fort Treaty, focuses on understanding and interpreting treaties from an Anishinaabe inaakonigewin (legal) perspective. Professor Craft is the former Director of Research at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the founding Director of Research at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. She is a current member of the Speaker's Bureau of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba.
Professor Alan Hanna is an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria, where he teaches in both the JD and the JID programs. He is of mixed Blackfoot, French and Scottish heritage, and is connected to the Secwepemc through marriage. Professor Hanna’s research focuses on Indigenous laws and jurisdiction, governance, rights and title, and environmental sustainability under Indigenous legal traditions, Aboriginal law and jurisprudence, and the intersections between all these systems. Professor Hanna also sits on the Legal Advisory Panel of RAVEN Trust and the Board of Directors of the Indigenous Bar Association in Canada.
Christina Gray is a lawyer with JFK Law LLP, with a focus on litigation and Indigenous governance. Christina is a Ts’msyen citizen from Lax Kw’alaams in northern British Columbia and Dene from Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. As a scholar, Christina’s graduate research focuses on issues of gender representation within the Ts’msyen legal order and governance system. Christina is also a Yellowhead Institute Research Fellow, which is a First Nations-led think tank rooted in community networks and committed to Indigenous self-determination.
Aria Laskin practices Aboriginal, environmental and constitutional law in JFK Law LLP’s Vancouver office. She has appeared in front of all levels of court in British Columbia and Ontario, the Federal Court, the Supreme Court of Canada and a range of administrative and arbitral panels.
The Advocates’ Society acknowledges that our offices, located in Toronto, are on the customary and traditional lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinabek, the Huron-Wendat and now home to many First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples. We acknowledge current treaty holders, the Mississaugas of the Credit and honour their long history of welcoming many nations to this territory.
While The Advocates’ Society is based in Toronto, we are a national organization with Directors and members located across Canada in the treaty and traditional territories of many Indigenous Peoples. We encourage our members to reflect upon their relationships with the Indigenous Peoples in these territories, and the history of the land on which they live and work.
We acknowledge the devastating impacts of colonization, including the history of residential schools, for many Indigenous peoples, families, and communities and commit to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in an informed legal profession in Canada and within The Advocates’ Society.