Rachel Ariss

RACHEL ARISS is an assistant professor in legal studies at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

  • Keeping the Land

    Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Reconciliation and Canadian Law

    By Rachel Ariss     March 2012

    When the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug’s traditional territory was threatened by mining explora- tion in 2006, they followed their traditional duty to protect the land and asked the mining exploration company, Platinex, to leave. Platinex left – and then sued the remote First Nation for $10 billion. The ensuing legal dispute lasted two years and eventually resulted in the jailing of community lead- ers. Ariss argues that though this jailing was extraordinarily punitive and is indicative of continuing colonialism within the legal system, some aspects of the case demonstrate the potential of Canadian law to understand, include and reflect Aboriginal perspectives. Connecting scholarship in Aboriginal rights and Canadian law, traditional Aboriginal law, social change and community activism, Keeping the Land explores the twists and turns of this legal dispute in order to gain a deeper understanding of the law’s contributions to and detractions from the process of reconciliation.

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