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Indigenous communities need to be empowered by their own law

By Kelly LaRocca      

Educating Canadians about Indigenous culture and law will promote understanding and compassion for First Nations people across the country we call Canada. This is why we strongly support efforts to reinvigorate and rebuild Indigenous law, such as the University of Victoria’s proposal for a joint degree program in the common law and Indigenous legal orders.

Inuit from Clyde River, Nunavut, pictured Nov. 29, 2016, outside the Supreme Court of Canada, protesting against seismic tests to search for oil and gas in Clyde River. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade
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PORT PARRY, ONT.—Indigenous law is alive, functioning, and transformative in our communities. Despite hardship and oppression, our peoples have recovered traditions and begun to restore cultures that were sidelined or banned outright for far too long. Now it must become part of Canada’s reconciliation with First Nations. Whether engaging with the hereditary chief system, principles concerning customary adoption and child welfare, or practices concerning hunting, fishing, and environmental stewardship, there is a host of opportunities to learn about

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