Instructor(s): Kerry Wilkins

For graduate students, the course number is LAW7052Y.

Note: This course was formerly titled "Aboriginal Peoples and Canadian Law," then "Indigenous Peoples and Canadian Law."

Note: This is an eligible course for credit towards the Aboriginal Legal Studies Certificate.

This is a course in applied Canadian constitutional law, intended for students that already have some familiarity with Canadian constitutional law and jurisprudence. Its aim is to introduce students to the encounter between Indigenous peoples and the mainstream Canadian (non-criminal) constitutional framework. It explores issues relating to sovereignty and self-determination, relevant features of colonial and imperial law, the division of powers, federal Indian legislation, the honour of the Crown, fiduciary and consultation obligations, and treaty and Aboriginal rights, with special attention to Aboriginal title and self-government. In most years the course also features a guest presentation from an Indigenous scholar about an Indigenous legal tradition and a panel of Toronto practitioners who represent or advise Indigenous clients, discussing issues that arise in the practice of Aboriginal law.

An easily satisfied class participation requirement will account for ten percent (10%) of a student’s mark. Written work will account for 90% of the mark. Students may choose between: Option 1: completing a final take-home exam on the materials covered in the course readings and class discussions; OR Option 2: completing and submitting, by the end of the examination period, two or three writing assignments, each of equal weight, totaling not more than 40 pages (10,000 words), on a choice of topics assigned by the instructor. Note: The default mode of evaluation for this course is the examination. Students who plan to complete the written assignments must notify the Records Office by March 1, 2022. Note: Graduate students have the additional option of writing a 30-40 page (7,500-10,000 words) paper on a topic related to the course and approved by the instructor.
Academic year
2022 - 2023

At a Glance

Second Term



37 JD


T: 4:10 - 6:00 pm
Th: 4:10 - 6:00 pm