Indigenous Blockades and the Power to Speak the Law: From Settler Colonialism to Indigenous Resurgence
Albinati, Christopher Eric Jon
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This thesis traces tensions between pluralism, elimination and resistance in the centuries-old narrative underlying the uncertain legal foundations of Crown sovereignty in the territory now known as Canada. The first half of the work applies the emerging literature of settler colonialism to a close reading of a selection of leading scholarship on Aboriginal rights jurisprudence to identify whether the Canadian courts are reproducing elements of settler colonialism in their decisions. The second half of this work draws on the literature of Indigenous resurgence, blockades, jurisdiction and the rule of law to construct a framework for examining juridical sites where conflicting assertions of Indigenous and settler colonial authority are a dispositive issue. This framework is used to analyze a selection of leading Indigenous blockades cases as a way of further understanding the challenges that courts and Indigenous peoples face in seeking to decolonize law and restore a pluralistic legal order.