Friday, November 3, 2023

In an opinion published in the Globe & Mail (October 31), Professor Douglas Sanderson (Amo Binashii)Prichard Wilson Chair in Law and Public Policy at the Faculty of Law, discusses Indigenous identity.

“To me, Indigenous identity is a question of culture and place; it is defined by attachment to a community, and what that community says about me. What matters is that there is a community of Indigenous people who claim me as their own. I do not get to decide if I am or am not Indigenous; it’s not up to me. What matters is that I have a community of Indigenous people who know me as one of their own.

In the end, I don’t much care about genealogies, or birth records, or bloodlines. Those are measures of something, I’m sure, but not Indigenous identity. To hold Indigenous identity is to be part of an Indigenous community, and it does not matter if you were born into that community.

Adoption is a millenniums-old tradition in our communities. A community that calls you its own has always been the appropriate measure.”

Read the full opinion in the Globe & Mail