Kalae Trask on Oral Tradition in U.S. and Canadian Courts

Kalae Trask has published “Toward Mutual Recognition: An Investigation of Oral Tradition Evidence in the United States and Canada” in the Washington Journal of Social and Environmental Justice.

The abstract:

United States (“U.S.”) courts have long failed to recognize the value of oral traditional evidence (“OTE”) in the law. Yet, for Indigenous peoples, OTE forms the basis of many of their claims to place, property, and political power. In Canada, courts must examine Indigenous OTE on “equal footing” with other forms of admissible evidence. While legal scholars have suggested applying Canadian precedent to U.S. law regarding OTE, scholarship has generally failed to critically examine the underlying ethos of settler courts as a barrier to OTE admission and usefulness. This essay uses the work of political philosopher, James Tully, to examine OTE not just as evidence, but as an exercise of Indigenous self-determination. By recognizing the inherent political nature of OTE, U.S. courts may expand on Canadian law to build a “just relationship” with Indigenous peoples.

In Largest Settlement in its History, Canada Comes to Agreement in Principle in Child Welfare Lawsuit

NY Times Coverage here

The Canadian government announced Tuesday that it had reached what it called the largest settlement in Canada’s history, paying $31.5 billion to fix the nation’s discriminatory child welfare system and compensate the Indigenous people harmed by it.

Agreement in principle/press release here

For those who were following this case, it involves the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, which is led by Cindy Blackstock. The settlement attempts to reform Child and Family Services and address Jordan’s Principle. This is a major settlement and significant milestone for Native children and families in Canada.