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Colonialism and the Suppression of Aboriginal Voice Open Access


Author or creator
Vermette, D'Arcy
Additional contributors
Judicial process -- Laws, regulations and rules
Canadian Law
Government regulation
Canadian native peoples -- Laws, regulations and rules
Colonialism -- Laws, regulations and rules
Canada. Constitution Act 1982 (Can. Const. s. 35(1))
Type of item
Journal Article (Published)
This article examines the silencing of Aboriginal people in Canadian legal discourse. The continued colonization of Aboriginal people is represented in legal decisions which display how Aboriginal laws, evidence, and reasoning are barred from the judicial process. By relying on early precedent the Supreme Court of Canada sanctions the non-participation of Aboriginal people in resolving rights disputes. Moving beyond a historical analysis, legal thought and legal language create barriers which prevent courts from receiving Aboriginal evidence and laws. Contradictions inherent in the study of colonialism also reveal themselves in Canadian law. Even when the Supreme Court attempts to incorporate Aboriginal voice it fails. The potential for progress that was shown in the Calder decision has since been nullified and Aboriginal people continue to face barriers when confronting Canadian law. The author asserts that the continued application of legal power is representative of the ongoing colonization of Aboriginal people. This article is relevant to the Canadian legal community because it addresses serious and persistent underlying issues in the legal treatment of Aboriginal/Crown disputes.
Date created
License information
© 2009 D'Arcy Vermette. This version of this article is open access and can be downloaded and shared. The original author(s) and source must be cited.
Citation for previous publication
Vermette, D. (2009). Colonialism and the Suppression of Aboriginal Voice, Ottawa Law Review, 40(2), 225-264.
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