John’s work is very thought-provoking, especially for American Indian law scholars and practitioners seeking to discover and perhaps utilize Indian common law, customs and traditions.
1. Canada’s Indigenous Constitution
Canada’s Indigenous Constitution reflects on the nature and sources of law in Canada, beginning with the conviction that the Canadian legal system has helped to engender the high level of wealth and security enjoyed by people across the country. However, longstanding disputes about the origins, legitimacy, and applicability of certain aspects of the legal system have led John Borrows to argue that Canada’s constitution is incomplete without a broader acceptance of Indigenous legal traditions.
With characteristic richness and eloquence, John Borrows explores legal traditions, the role of governments and courts, and the prospect of a multi-juridical legal culture, all with a view to understanding and improving legal processes in Canada. He discusses the place of individuals, families, and communities in recovering and extending the role of Indigenous law within both Indigenous communities and Canadian society more broadly.
This is a major work by one of Canada’s leading legal scholars, and an essential companion to Drawing Out Law: A Spirit’s Guide.
2. Drawing Out Law: A Spirits’ Guide
The Anishinabek Nation’s legal traditions are deeply embedded in many aspects of customary life. In Drawing Out Law, John Borrows (Kegedonce) skillfully juxtaposes Canadian legal policy and practice with the more broadly defined Anishinabek perception of law as it applies to community life, nature, and individuals.
This innovative work combines fictional and non-fictional elements in a series of connected short stories that symbolize different ways of Anishinabek engagement with the world. Drawing on oral traditions, pictographic scrolls, dreams, common law case analysis, and philosophical reflection, Borrows’ narrative explores issues of pressing importance to the future of indigenous law and offers readers new ways to think about the direction of Canadian law.
Shedding light on Canadian law and policy as they relate to Indigenous peoples,Drawing Out Law illustrates past and present moral agency of Indigenous peoples and their approaches to the law and calls for the renewal of ancient Ojibway teaching in contemporary circumstances.
This is a major work by one of Canada’s leading legal scholars, and an essential companion to Canada’s Indigenous Constitution.