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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Ghost Dancing with Colonialism

Decolonization and Indigenous Rights at the Supreme Court of Canada

Some assume that Canada earned a place among postcolonial states in 1982 when it took charge of its Constitution. Yet despite the formal recognition accorded to Aboriginal and treaty rights at that time, Indigenous peoples continue to argue that they are still being colonized. Grace Woo assesses this allegation using a binary model that distinguishes colonial from postcolonial legality. She argues that two legal paradigms governed the expansion of the British Empire, one based on popular consent, the other on conquest and the power to command. Ghost Dancing with Colonialism casts explanatory light on ongoing tensions between Canada and Indigenous peoples.

360 pages

Law and Society

Table of Contents

Introduction: Ghost Dancing and S. 35

Part 1: Paradigms and the British Empire

1 Anomalies

2 Conceptual Structures

3 Colonial and Postcolonial Legality

Part 2: Case Study: Indigenous Rights and Decolonization at the Supreme Court of Canada

4 Methodology

5 Internal Architecture of the Court’s Reasoning

6 Trends and Dance Tunes

7 Can the Court Become Postcolonial?

Appendix 1: Chronological List of Cases Studied

Appendix 2: Judicial Careers

Appendix 3: Judicial Reasoning Profiles

Appendix 4: Assessment of Reasoning

Appendix 5: Use of the Canadian Judicial Institution


Selected Bibliography

General Index

Index of Cases

Index of Legislation, Treaties, and Accords

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