Indigenous Methodologies and Perspectives

Course Number
Course Description

Indigenous Methodologies and Perspectives will build on material and skills learned during first year law courses. The class will be taught in a comparable manner to 1L Systems and Methods. It will also interact with cases discussed in 1L Constitutional Law. The course will discuss past and contemporary reconciliation efforts. We will survey common law “Aboriginal law” cases as well as Indigenous Legal Orders. The course will be taught in lecture/discussion format to convey critical information including historical context, background, and theory. Small group discussions will be part of each class. Guest speakers may present when/where available, to provide students with practical interaction with leaders or experts in their field relevant to the course syllabus. This syllabus provides a roadmap for the topics we will cover and some associated readings. Other readings may be announced week by week in collaboration with any visitors we may have for the course.


This course will be evaluated through three written assignments.
The first written assignment is an outline of your major paper including: a thesis statement, abstract, and proposed bibliography for the research paper – 700 -1000 words. This assignment is worth 10%.
The second assignment is to prepare a legal memo on an Aboriginal law case. Students are required to choose a common law case and write a legal memo (ILAC form to be discussed in class). The memo should be no more than 1,500 words including analysis and commentary and it is worth 30%.
The third piece of written work is a research paper. The research paper must be 3,000 words, exclusive of footnotes, bibliography, and cover page. The research paper is worth 60%.

Course Materials

Borrows, John (2016). Freedom & Indigenous Constitutionalism. Toronto: University of Toronto Press
Craft, Aimee (2013). Breathing Life into the Stone Fort Treaty: An Anishinaabe Understanding of Treaty One: Purich Publishing, UBC Press
Gregory Youngly (2018) Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing by and About Indigenous Peoples, University of Toronto Press.