Some Reflections of a Métis Law Student and Assistant Professor on Indigenous Legal Education in Canada

Research output: Article


This Article is a reflection on some of my experiences as a Métis law
student and assistant professor on the subject of Indigenous legal education
in Canada. I introduce myself and what brought me to law school and
describe some of my experiences as a law student, as a co-president of an
Indigenous Students Association, and as a student organizer for an
Indigenous law camp. I argue that a significant barrier to Indigenization and
decolonization of Canadian legal education is the perseverance of an
ideology rooted in settler colonialism and an individual affective
commitment to its future, which is facilitated by racism. The existence and
nature of this barrier is highlighted through an exploratory discussion of
some of the experiences that are commonly shared by Indigenous law
students and professors. I describe my approach to Indigenous legal
education at the Lincoln Alexander School of Law (“Lincoln Alexander”)
at X University in Toronto, Ontario, as one way to work towards facilitating
efforts towards Indigenization and decolonization.

Although the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Final Report
and Calls to Action (“Calls”) have significantly impacted Indigenization
activities in Canadian legal education, choices to be made about how the
Calls are to be implemented are not self-evident. Thus, as an assistant
professor at Lincoln Alexander School of Law, I am now trying to decide
how to do this work. I propose a pedagogy based on the deconstruction or
critique of settler colonial and racial hierarchies embedded in the rule of
law through critical methodologies. This deconstruction is necessary before
we can effectively teach students about Indigenous legal orders. When we
do teach Indigenous legal orders, we should consider teaching those orders
in stand-alone courses or focusing on Indigenous legal methodologies in our
courses. Finally, I briefly discuss a proposal for integrating Indigenous legal
issues and perspectives in the curriculum.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2
Pages (from-to)744-770
Number of pages27
JournalMitchell Hamline Law Review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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