Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Indigenous Peoples: Caught in a Perpetual Human Rights Prison

21 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2016  

Larry Chartrand

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section

Date Written: July 21, 2016


This paper examines liberal theorists such as Habermas and James in relation to Indigenous peoples inclusion within nations states like Canada. The author argues that although these theorists have much to contribute in terms of increasing Indigenous democratic inclusion and rights, they are more destructive to Indigenous peoples integrity as peoples in the end. This is because they are unable to satisfactorily account for the immoral inclusion of Indigenous peoples as citizens of a state they did not consent to belonging and moreover contribute to a sense of individual human rights characterization of Aboriginal rights that is inconsistent with a true recognition of Indigenous peoples as independent and sovereign with rights that can't be determined fairly by the existing mechanisms of the state such as its courts. Liberalism and the kind of human rights it envisions for Aboriginal peoples becomes a straight-jacket rather than emancipatory.

Keywords: Indigenous peoples, Aboriginal peoples, Indigenous democratic inclusion, individual human rights, independence, sovereignty, human rights, Liberalism

Suggested Citation

Chartrand, Larry, Indigenous Peoples: Caught in a Perpetual Human Rights Prison (July 21, 2016). Ottawa Faculty of Law Working Paper No. 2016-26. Available at SSRN:

Larry Chartrand (Contact Author)

University of Ottawa - Common Law Section ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, K1N 6N5
613-562-5800 (Phone)
613-562-5124 (Fax)


Paper statistics

Abstract Views