Hadley Friedland was just outside a conference room in Edmonton, speaking over the phone about a presentation on Indigenous law she’d just made to a room full of lawyers and legal academics. The conference was being sponsored by the Law Society of Alberta.
Around the country, First Nation communities, in “acts of self determination,” are striving to rebuild their own laws and governance structures from the rubble of colonialism. And Canada’s legal community, says Friedland, an assistant professor of law at the University of Alberta, has become eager to discover how Indigenous concepts of law are influencing case law, legislation and legal practitioners.
In that vein, Friedland, along with Shalene Jobin, an associate professor in the U of A’s Faculty of Native Studies and a director of the U of A’s Indigenous Governance and Partnership Program, co-founded the Wahkohtowin Law and Governance Lodge.