Hamar Foster, Q.C., has worked for forty years as a research scholar and teacher, an expert witness and litigator. He will compare the Law’s evidence of RCMP reports with the Artist’s perspective in “Kitwancool”, Emily Carr’s story in her famous book, Klee Wyck (1941), a memoir of her travels in BC and of her encounters and relationships with First Nations people.
A member of the University of Victoria Faculty of Law since 1978, Hamar Foster was promoted to professor in 1993 and was associate dean from 1998 to 2000. Over the course of his legal career, he has been a Commonwealth Scholar and Woodrow Wilson Fellow, served as law clerk to the Chief Justice of British Columbia, and together with two classmates, established the firm of Prowse, Williamson & Foster. While teaching at UVic, he continued to practice law part-time until the early 1990s, focusing primarily on criminal Legal Aid work. He has taught Legal Process, Property, Criminal Law, The Law of Evidence, Legal History and Aboriginal Law.
Professor Foster has written extensively on comparative criminal law, the legal history of the fur trade, BC legal history and Aboriginal law. Most recently he co-edited the collections: The British Columbia Court of Appeal, 1910-2010, a special issue of BC Studies (2009) with UVic Law colleague John McLaren and Wes Pue at UBC; The Grand Experiment: Law and Legal Culture in British Settler Societies (2008), with UVic Law colleague Benjamin Berger and A.L. Buck of Macquarie University in Australia; and Let Right Be Done: Aboriginal Title, the Calder Case, and the Future of Indigenous Rights (2007), with UVic Law colleagues Jeremy Webber and Heather Raven. An article recounting his experiences testifying as an expert witness in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. BC entitled “One Good Thing: Law, Elevator Etiquette and Aboriginal Rights Litigation in Canada”, was published in June 2010 in The Advocates’ Quarterly.
Professor Foster was a member of the Akitsiraq Law School faculty in Nunavut in 2002 and a resident Fellow at the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society from 2000 to 2001. He is a founding member and director of the International Society for the Promotion of the Public Interest of Lawyer Independence.