Reading Lists

Get informed about Indigenous rights.

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Indigenous Rights Reading List

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Introductory text on Aboriginal law in Canada

  • Jim Reynolds, Aboriginal Peoples and the Law: A Critical Introduction (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2018)


History and analysis of Aboriginal and Treaty rights in Canadian law

  • Bruce McIvor, Standoff: Why Reconciliation Fails Indigenous People and How to Fix It (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2021)
  • Gordon Christie, Canadian Law and Indigenous Self‐Determination: A Naturalist Analysis (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019)
  • Joshua Nichols, A Reconciliation without Recollection? An Investigation of the Foundations of Aboriginal Law in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2019)
  • Kent McNeil, Flawed Precedent: The St. Catherine's Case and Aboriginal Title (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2019)
  • Jim Reynolds, From Wardship to Rights: The Guerin Case and Aboriginal Law (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2020)
  • Felix Hoehn, Reconciling Sovereignties: Aboriginal Nations and Canada (Saskatoon: University of Saskatchewan Native Law Centre, 2012)
  • Hamar Foster, Heather Raven & Jeremy Webber, Let Right Be Done: Aboriginal Title, the Calder Case and the Future of Indigenous Rights (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2007)
  • John Borrows and Michael Coyle, eds., The Right Relationship: Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017)
  • Michael Asch, On Being Here to Stay: Treaties and Aboriginal Rights in Canada (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014)
  • Harold Johnson, Two Families: Treaties and Government (Saskatoon: Purich Publishing, 2007)
  • Chartrand, Paul L.A.H., ed., Who Are Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples? Recognition, Definition, and Jurisdiction (Saskatoon: Purich Publishing, 2002)


International, Indigenous and Canadian law


Indigenous law and legal pluralism

  • John Borrows, Canada’s Indigenous Constitution (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010)
  • Angela Cameron, Sari Graben and Val Napoleon, eds., Creating Indigenous Property: Power, Rights, and Relationships (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2020)
  • Hadley Friedland, The Wetiko Legal Principles: Cree and Anishinabek Responses to Violence and Victimization (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018)
  • Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum), Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems (Saskatoon: Purich Publishing, 2015)
  • Aimée Craft, Breathing Life Into the Stone Fort Treaty: An Anishnabe Understanding of Treaty One (Saskatoon: Purich Publishing, 2013)
  • John Borrows, Freedom and Indigenous Constitutionalism (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2016)
  • Val Napoleon, Ayook: Gitksan Legal Order, Law, and Legal Theory (University of Victoria: PhD Dissertation, 2009)
  • Aaron Mills, Miinigowiziwin: all that has been given for living well together: one vision of Anishinaabe constitutionalism (University of Victoria: PhD Dissertation, 2019)
  • Alan Hanna, "Reconciliation through Relationality in Indigenous Legal Orders" (2019) 56:3 Alta L Rev 817
  • Alan Hanna, "Spaces for Sharing: Searching for Indigenous Law on the Canadian Legal Landscape" (2018) 51:1 UBC L Rev 105
  • Alan Hanna, "Making the Round: Aboriginal Title in the Common Law from a Tsilhqot'in Legal Perspective" (2013) 45:3 Ottawa L Rev 365
  • John Borrows, "Indigenous Legal Traditions in Canada" (2005) 19 Wash U JL & Pol'y 167
  • Antonia Mills, Eagle Down Is Our Law: Witsuwit'en Law, Feasts, and Land Claims (Vancouver: UBC Press, 1994)


Aboriginal law case summaries and commentary


Policy analysis



Truth and Reconciliation Commission Final Report


National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report


Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples


Foundational works of Indigenous anticolonialism in Canada

  • George Manuel and Michael Posluns, The Fourth World: An Indian Reality (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1974/2019)
  • Lee Maracle, Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel (Toronto: Women’s Press, 1975/1990)
  • Harold Cardinal, The Unjust Society: The Tragedy of Canada's Indians (Vancouver: Douglas and McIntyre, 1969/1999)
  • Maria Campbell, Halfbreed (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1973/2019)
  • Howard Adams, Prison of Grass: Canada from a Native Point of View (Markham: Fifth House Books, 1975/1989)
  • Patricia Monture-Angus, Thunder In My Soul: A Mohawk Woman Speaks (Toronto: Brunswick Books, 1995)
  • Lee Maracle, I am Woman: A Native Perspective on Sociology and Feminism (Vancouver: Press Gang Publishing, 2003)


Contemporary histories of Indigenous rights and political activism in Canada

  • Arthur Manuel, The Reconciliation Manifesto: Recovering the Land, Rebuilding the Economy (Toronto: Lorimer, 2017)
  • Bev Sellars, Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 2016)
  • Pamela Palmater, Indigenous Nationhood: Empowering Grassroots Citizens (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2015)
  • Arthur Manuel, Unsettling Canada: A National Wake-Up Call (Toronto: Between the Lines, 2015)
  • Kino-nda-niimi Collective, The Winter We Danced: Voices from the Past, the Future, and the Idle No More Movement (Winnipeg: ARP Books, 2014)


History and analysis of the Indian Act

  • Bob Joseph, 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act: Helping Canadians Make Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples a Reality (Brantford: Indigenous Relations Press, 2018)
  • Mary-Ellen Kelm and Keith D. Smith, Talking Back to the Indian Act: Critical Readings in Settler Colonial Histories (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018)


Introductory histories of Indigenous-Crown relations in Canada

  • Whose Land is it Anyways? A Manual for Decolonization (Vancouver: Federation of Post-Secondary Educators of BC, 2017)
  • Thomas King, The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America (Toronto: Anchor Canada, 2013)
  • Harold Johnson, Peace and Good Order: The Case for Indigenous Justice in Canada (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2019)
  • Bob Joseph, Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality (Brantford: Indigenous Relations Press, 2019)
  • John Ralston Saul, The Comeback: How Aboriginals are Reclaiming Power and Influence (Toronto: Penguin Canada, 2015)


Histories of settler colonial law

  • Brenna Bhandar, Colonial Lives of Property: Law, Land, and Racial Regimes of Ownership (Durham: Duke University Press, 2018)
  • Lindsay G. Robertson, Conquest by Law: How the Discovery of America Dispossessed Indigenous Peoples of their Lands (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
  • Chartrand, Paul L.A.H., Manitoba’s Metis Settlement Scheme of 1870 (Saskatoon: University of Saskatchewan Native Law Centre, 1991)
  • Jean Teillet, The North-West Is Our Mother: The Story of Louis Riel's People, the Métis Nation (Toronto: Harper Collins, 2019)
  • Andrew Crosby and Jeffrey Monaghan, Policing Indigenous Movements: Dissent and the Security State (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2018)
  • James Daschuk, Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life (Regina: University of Regina Press, 2013)
  • Nick Claxton et al, Challenging Racist British Columbia: 150 Years and Counting (Victoria/Vancouver: University of Victoria/Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, 2021)


Graphic novel histories

  • Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm et al, This Place: 150 Years Retold (Winnipeg: HighWater Press, 2019)
  • Gord Hill, The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2002)
  • UVic Indigenous Law Research Unit, Mikomosis and the Wetiko (University of Victoria: Indigenous Law Research Unit, 2013)



Essay collection on Indigenous resurgence and reconciliation in Canada

  • Michael Asch, John Borrows, James Tully, eds., Resurgence and Reconciliation: Indigenous-Settler Relations and Earth Teachings (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018)


Indigenous resurgence and Canadian settler colonialism

  • Leanne Simpson, As We Have Always Done: Indigenous Freedom Through Radical Resistance (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2017)
  • Audra Simpson, Mohawk Interruptus: Political Life Across the Borders of Settler States (Durham: Duke University Press, 2014)
  • Glen Sean Coulthard, Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014)
  • Elaine Coburn, ed., More Will Sing Their Way to Freedom: Indigenous Resistance and Resurgence (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2015)
  • Joyce Green, ed., Making Space for Indigenous Feminism (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2017)
  • Leanne Simpson, Dancing on our Turtle’s Back: Stories of Nishnaabeg Re-Creation, Resurgence, and a New Emergence (Winnipeg, Arbeiter Ring Press, 2011)
  • Priscilla Settee and Shailesh Shukla, eds., Indigenous Food Systems: Concepts, Cases, and Conversations (Toronto: Canadian Scholars, 2020)
  • Taiaiake Alfred, Wasáse: Indigenous Pathways of Action and Freedom (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005)


Settler decolonization in Canada

  • Paulette Regan, Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2011)
  • Emma Battell Lowman and Adam J. Barker, Settler: Identity and Colonialism in 21st Century Canada (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2015)
  • Eva Mackey, Unsettled Expectations: Uncertainty, Land, and Settler Decolonization (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2016)
  • Scott Lauria Morgensen: Spaces Between Us: Queer Settler Colonialism and Indigenous Decolonization (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2011)
  • Lynne Davis, ed., Alliances: Re/Envisioning Indigenous-non-Indigenous Relationships (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010)



Indigenous legal research methodologies

  • Val Napoleon and Hadley Friedland, “Gathering the Threads: Developing a Methodology for Researching and Rebuilding Indigenous Legal Traditions” (2015) 1:1 Lakehead LJ 16
  • Val Napoleon and Hadley Friedland, "An Inside Job: Engaging with Indigenous Legal Traditions Through Stories" (2016) 61:4 McGill Law Journal 725
  • John Borrows, "Heroes, Tricksters, Monsters and Caregivers: Indigenous Laws and Legal Education" (2016) 61 McGill Law Journal
  • Sarah Morales, “Locating Oneself in One's Research: Learning and Engaging with Law in the Coast Salish World” (2018) 30 Can J Women & L 144
  • Darcy Lindberg, "Miyo Nehiyawiwin (Beautiful Creeness): Ceremonial Aesthetics and Nehiyaw Legal Pedagogy" (2018) 16 Indigenous LJ 51
  • Robert YELḰÁTŦE Clifford, “Listening to Law” (2016) 33:1 Windsor Y B Access Just 47
  • Sarah Morales, “Stl’ul nup: Legal Landscapes of The Hul’qumi’num Mustimuhw” (2016) 33:1 Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 103
  • John Borrows, "Outsider Education: Indigenous Law and Land-based Learning" (2016) 33:1 Windsor Y B Access Just 1


Indigenous research methodologies

  • Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples (London: Zed Books, 2012)

  • Shawn Wilson, Research is Ceremony: Indigenous Research Methods (Winnipeg/Black Point: Fernwood Publishing, 2008)