Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2011


Great Plains Research Vol. 21 No.1, 2011


© 2011 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-lincoln


This text's major thesis, that "Canada cannot presently, historically, legally, or morally claim to be built upon European-derived law alone," has been mentioned before. Yet in those earlier musings by Borrows and others, such a statement has never been documented so well as it is here. Borrows contemplates that others, besides those sympathetic with Indigenous perspectives, might just admit such a thesis is the case. Moreover, they might also support the creation of social and economic policies that demonstrate such a belief. But observing it in Canada's current legal system-really? Keenly aware of skeptics, Borrows has thought as much about his method as his content. As a result, he trumps other authors by using the proverbial "master's tools" to take down the "master's house," revealing to us that the Canadian legal system is, first and foremost, imbued with Indigenous law. The problem, he simultaneously details, is that too many people do not interpret it as such.