Broken Trust: Finding Our Way Out of the Damaged Relationship Through the Rebuilding of Indigenous Legal Institutions
In Law Society of Upper Canada, Canada at 150: the Charter and the Constitution, (Irwin Law, 2017) pp. 379-393.
18 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2019
Date Written: 2017
The rights of Indigenous people in Canada are enshrined in the Constitution and supported by imperatives of reconciliation and the honour of the Crown. Internationally, the rights of Indigenous people are confirmed in declarations and conventions that acknowledge the sovereignty of Indigenous people in their home territories. However, in Canada, these rights are cast under the shadow of a long history of colonization and colonialism, racism and prejudice, assimilation and cultural genocide. Reflections on this dark history and broken trust between Canada and Indigenous people were revisited by some, while Canada celebrated 150 years of Confederation. Many lamented the broken trust that continues to shape relationship.
This chapter is a reflection on the "era of reconciliation" in which we find ourselves. The substance and scope of reconciliation remains contested by many Indigenous people who argue that genuine reconciliation must be anchored in revitalization, resurgence, resistance, and reclamation, through grounded normativity and practices that revalue Indigenous ways of knowing and being. This includes living and rebuilding Indigenous legal traditions which are embedded in profound understandings of relationship.
Keywords: Indigenous Law, Law, Honour of the Crown, Indigenous Legal Traditions, Canada 150, Cultural Genocide, Reconciliation, Aboriginal
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