This project was supported by a grant from the .CA Community Investment Program. The videos were created for the Indigenous Law Research Unit by Kamala Todd (Indigenous City Media, Director & Editor), Emily Snyder (Project Lead & Producer), and Renée McBeth (Associate Producer).
The Indigenous Law Video On Demand project involved creating a website for ILRU, as well as a series of short educational videos, which are accompanied by a video archive. The video series provides critically oriented introductions to important topics in the area of Indigenous law. The three main videos are:
- Indigenous law: an introduction
- Indigenous law, gender, and sexuality
- Indigenous law: tough questions
As with all legal education, it takes time to learn about Indigenous legal orders, and what is presented here is intended to encourage discussion, rather than offer a simple, declarative account of Indigenous law.
The videos creatively weave together imagery, sound, and the reflections of scholars, community leaders, students, and activists working in the area of Indigenous law, and living in Coast and Straits Salish territories. The videos include, and were created by, Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in collaboration and conversation, with the hopes of fostering respectful discussion and education in the areas of Indigenous law, as well as Indigenous-settler relations.
The video series is based on interviews and discussions with: John Borrows (Anishinaabe), Kirsty Broadhead (Métis), Gillian Calder (settler, Scottish ancestry), Jeff Corntassel (Cherokee), Rebecca Johnson (settler), Johnny Mack (Nuu-chah-nulth), Adrienne Macmillan (Gitxsan and Scottish), Maxine Matilpi (Kwakiutl/Ma’amtigila), Val Napoleon (Cree), Brock Roe (Cree), Emily Snyder (settler), Anisa White (Cree-Métis), and Kwulasultun (Doug White) (Snuneymuxw).
Using the Videos & Discussion Guide
The videos are available for free online for educators, facilitators, community groups, community organizations, and the general public.
The overall package of videos consists of the three main videos, which are between 5 to 10 minutes long each, as well as an archive comprised of nine longer videos of full interviews. The main videos offer focused discussion on particular topics and are easily useable in classrooms, group meetings, and gatherings. If you are interested in watching the full interviews and conversations, then check out the archive!
Each video is provided with a description and a list of keywords so that you can identify the topics covered. A discussion guide also accompanies the videos, and can be accessed for free.
The Main Videos
Indigenous law: an introduction
This video provides an introductory discussion about Indigenous law, including different interpretations about what the term means, and why it is important to understand legal pluralism and to learn about Indigenous laws. This work matters in both communities and in education, and matters to both Indigenous peoples and settlers. Indigenous legal traditions are vital resources and this video offers a critically oriented discussion that aims to support agency and self-determination within Indigenous communities, to encourage non-Indigenous people to consider their own actions and responsibilities, and to open up ideas for discussion and contemplation. People interviewed in this video include: Val Napoleon, Jeff Corntassel, John Borrows, Rebecca Johnson, Doug White, and Anisa White.
Indigenous law, gender, and sexuality
This video focuses on the relationship between gender, sexuality, and Indigenous law. These topics are often under-discussed and the people interviewed here emphasize the importance of critically engaging with gender and sexuality for inclusive legal practice. Topics discussed include why gender and sexuality matter to Indigenous law, and what Indigenous feminisms bring to the conversation. The goal of this short video is to begin a conversation in which gender and sexuality are taken seriously, treated as complex and varied, and where stereotypes can be debunked and power dynamics are openly discussed. People interviewed in this video include: Val Napoleon, Maxine Matilpi, Jeff Corntassel, John Borrows, Emily Snyder, and Brock Roe.
Indigenous law: tough questions
This video features a group discussion that took place at the First Peoples House at the University of Victoria. Law is a process of engagement and interpretation, and involves asking questions. Participants in this video came together to collaboratively discuss challenging questions and issues pertaining to Indigenous law. They were asked to reflect on today’s challenges regarding revitalization, difficult questions, and what excites them about the revitalization of Indigenous laws. What you see in this video are just some of the questions that were raised (check out our archive for the full group conversation). There are many more questions that could be asked, and the purpose of this video is to provide one way into a conversation about tough questions. People in this video include: Brock Roe, Rebecca Johnson, Kirsty Broadhead, Val Napoleon, Johnny Mack, Gillian Calder, Adrienne Macmillan.
Full interview: Val Napoleon & Rebecca Johnson (part 1)
This video is the first half of the interview that was done with Dr. Val Napoleon (Cree, Director of the Indigenous Law Research Unit, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria) and Dr. Rebecca Johnson (Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria).
Keywords: defining Indigenous law; interpretation & law; challenging settler narratives of Indigenous law; law & stories; Indigenous law as living, practical resources; teaching Indigenous law; Indigenous & settler relations; reconciliation.
Full interview: Val Napoleon & Rebecca Johnson (part 2)
This video is the second half of the interview that was done with Dr. Val Napoleon (Cree, Director of the Indigenous Law Research Unit, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria) and Dr. Rebecca Johnson (Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria).
Keywords: gender & sexuality; stereotypes, romanticisms, essentialisms, fundamentalisms; violence against Indigenous women & girls; Indigenous feminism; stories; Indigenous feminist tricksters; citizens as legal agents/actors; embodiment & law.
Full interview: John Borrows
This video is of the interview with Dr. John Borrows, Anishinaabe, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law, University of Victoria.
Keywords: defining Indigenous law; teaching about Indigenous law; relationship between Indigenous laws & Canadian laws; inclusion & engagement; gender and Indigenous law; generalizations, stereotypes; sources of law.
Full interview: Jeff Corntassel
This video is of the interview with Dr. Jeff Corntassel, Cherokee Nation, Director of Indigenous Governance, University of Victoria.
Keywords: defining Indigenous law; land-based practices; sustainability; resurgence; teaching Indigenous law, education; Indigenous & settler relations; gender & sexuality; Indigenous economies; colonialism & neoliberalism.
Full interview: Maxine Matilpi
This video is of the interview with Maxine Matilpi, who is Kwakiutl/Ma’amtigila, and is a university Instructor, Vancouver Island University.
Keywords: defining Indigenous law; violence against women & girls; essentialisms; teaching Indigenous law; gender & sexuality; feminisms; power.
Full interview: Emily Snyder & Brock Roe
This video is of the interview that was done with Dr. Emily Snyder (settler, Researcher/Postdoctoral Fellow, UVic Faculty of Law) and Brock Roe (Bigstone Cree Nation, Associate at Woodward & Co. Lawyers LLP).
Keywords: Indigenous feminism; gender & sexuality; Indigenous feminism & lawyering; Indigenous law & Aboriginal law; legal education; stereotypes; power; inclusion & exclusion.
Full interview: Anisa White
This video is of the interview with Anisa White, who is Cree-Métis, and is a Gladue Writer and a lawyer.
Keywords: defining Indigenous law; Gladue reports & sentencing; restoration; Indigenous legal responses & obligations; Native Courtworkers; using Indigenous law in Canadian courts; restorative justice; empowerment through Indigenous law.
Full interview: Kwulasultun (Doug White)
This video is of the interview with Kwulasultun (Doug White), Snuneymuxw First Nation, and Director of the Centre for Pre-Confederation Treaties and Reconciliation, Vancouver Island University. Kwulasultun was the former Chief of the Snuneymuxw First Nation and is also a lawyer.
Keywords: defining Indigenous law; misconceptions about Indigenous law; role of Indigenous law in relation to Canadian law; reconciliation; Tsilhqot’in decision.
Full interview: group discussion
This video is of the full group discussion that took place at the Ceremonial Hall at the First Peoples House, University of Victoria. Participants in the discussion included: Brock Roe, Rebecca Johnson, Kirsty Broadhead, Val Napoleon, Johnny Mack, Gillian Calder, Adrienne Macmillan.
Keywords: application of Indigenous laws; challenges concerning the revitalization of Indigenous laws; fundamentalisms; critical legal education & pedagogy; law school; Indigenous & settler relations; gender; sexuality; power dynamics; encouraging difficult conversations, critique; tough questions; commodification, economics, capitalism; colonialism.
Lecture: John Borrows
This video is of a lecture done by Dr. John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law, University of Victoria. The video was created for the 2015 Legal Process cohort in the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria.
Keywords: sources of law; treaty relations; Indigenous & Canadian law; challenging stereotypes; revitalizing Indigenous law; the depth & complexities of Indigenous legal orders & traditions.