Collaborative Research Networks

CRN34 Indigenous Peoples & the Law


Mark Harris and Jonathan Liljeblad

The study of law and indigeneity is international and global in scope, and this CRN seeks to promote much-needed interaction and comparative inquiry between scholars based around the world. We aim to provide a forum that comparatively examines the similarities and differences between colonial/postcolonial/neo-imperial nations with respect to native peoples. Our hope is to expand the discussion of these beyond the discourses of resistance and human rights, to foreground other ways that indigenous peoples engage with the law. By doing so, we hope to promote inquiry into the complex legal landscape that involves multiple layers and meanings of what constitute law for indigenous peoples in the first instance. Alongside issues of legal pluralism, we aim to stress the multiple sites of knowledge production that inform issues of indigeneity and that contextualize the engagement of native peoples with formal and informal legal institutions. The CRN is founded on the belief that a full understanding of what it means to be indigenous is impossible without taking the legal into direct consideration. Nor can we fully understand legality in non-indigenous societies without acknowledging the law’s ever-present connections with Indigenous, First Nations and native peoples.


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