Envisioning Indigenous Community Courts to Realize Justice in Canada for First Nations


  • Angelique EagleWoman Dean of the Bora Laskin Faculty of Law at Lakehead University, citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation in South Dakota.




Recognition continues to grow both within Canada, as well as the wider worldwide community, of the unique issues facing Indigenous people within Canada’s justice system. We see this in the recent wholesale adoption by the Canadian Government of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, as well as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action.

This article examines the potential development of a system of Indigenous community courts as a way to end colonial suppression of Indigenous self-governance. The article suggests as a model for these courts the tribal courts in the United States, as a means by which Indigenous peoples can re-instate Indigenous law and legal principles.