Indigenous Oral Traditions in Court: Hearsay or Foreign Law?

Karen Drake & Brenda L. Gunn, eds, Renewing Relationships: Indigenous Peoples and Canada (Saskatoon: Native Law Centre, 2019).

Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper

35 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2019

See all articles by Karen Drake

Karen Drake

Osgoode Hall Law School at York University

Date Written: May 31, 2019

Abstract

Many Indigenous nations seek a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with Canada. To some, the language of a nation-to-nation relationship might seem aspirational but impractical. How can nation-to-nation relationships within a single state be effected on the ground, in our day-to-day lives? The short answer is that different Indigenous nations can have different visions of the practical instantiations of their nation-to-nation relationships. This chapter does not purport to dictate or determine the precise contours of any given nation-to-nation relationship. It merely analyzes one potential site of instantiation: the rules for the admissibility of Indigenous oral traditions as evidence within Canadian courts. This chapter argues that current rules fall short of reflecting a nation-to-nation relationship.

Suggested Citation

Drake, Karen, Indigenous Oral Traditions in Court: Hearsay or Foreign Law? (May 31, 2019). Karen Drake & Brenda L. Gunn, eds, Renewing Relationships: Indigenous Peoples and Canada (Saskatoon: Native Law Centre, 2019)., Osgoode Legal Studies Research Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3397257

Karen Drake (Contact Author)

Osgoode Hall Law School at York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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