Keeping the Land

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Reconciliation and Canadian Law

By Rachel Ariss  

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When the Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug’s traditional territory was threatened by mining exploration 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 leaders. 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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  • Introduction: Platinex v. Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug
  • Land and Community, Law and Mining in Northern Ontario (co-authored with John Cutfeet)
  • Three Laws Converge on this Place: Kanawayandan D’aaki and Indigenous Law (co-authored with John Cutfeet)
  • Resistance, Law and Community Organizing
  • Law, Legal Process and Reconciliation in Platinex v. KItchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug
  • Reconciliation
  • Conclusion: Impasse and Change
  • Epilogue
  • References
  • Court Materials, Case Law and Legislation Cited


  • Rachel Ariss

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

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