Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

May 1997


Published in Great Plains Research 7:1 (Spring 1997). Copyright © 1997 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Aboriginal law is one of the most dynamic fields of law in modern Canada. This book helps to clarify and identify a number of legal nuances that are currently being debated by providing selected passages from legislation, treaties, court cases and claims agreements along with author commentary and introductions.

Thomas Isaac defines Aboriginal law under the 1982 Constitution Act to include law as it relates to Indians, Inuit, and Metis in Canada. He adds that materials referring to Indians only mean Indians as defined under Canadian federal law, specifically the Indian Act. Isaac, who has taught Aboriginal law and resides in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, explains that most Aboriginal law has come from Indian litigation, and consequently existing legal precedents primarily cover Indians and Inuit. One of the most active current areas of Aboriginal law involves its application to Metis.