Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 28: Justice (25-42)

McGill University Faculty of Law

January 31, 2024

McGill Faculty of Law professors are expert in both the civil and common law traditions, with many emphasizing a comparative or transsystemic approach, and Indigenous perspectives. This is most readily demonstrated by the number of international law specialists among our faculty members. Our faculty members are also active in legal reform and in legal institutions in Canada and elsewhere.

For more than 150 years, McGill’s Faculty of Law has been developing legal minds equally at ease with the intellectual rigors of academia and the practical realities of the legal profession. This tradition of excellence is a source of pride for McGill Law graduates, and we look forward to expanding upon this historic base throughout our third century of teaching…from the oldest law faculty in Canada created in1848.

Faculty of Law Commitment to Truth and Reconciliation

Indigenous Initiatives”:

As the Faculty of Law continues to engage with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action, we are committed to working toward giving legal traditions and Indigenous voices their just place in the McGill program, at our Faculty, and in the legal profession… McGill Law is committed to becoming one of Canada’s leading faculties in the study of Indigenous legal traditions.

Call to Action # 28 

We call upon law schools in Canada to require all law students to take a course in Aboriginal people and the law, which includes the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and AboriginalCrown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and antiracism.

Mandatory Course: Yes

LawG 103 Indigenous Legal Traditions (3 Credits)

Introduction to Indigenous law in Canada by teaching, inter alia, the connections between Indigenous ways of being and knowing and Indigenous law, including how those connections have been damaged in colonial contexts, and efforts to revitalize them. Topics include: the worldviews and constitutional contexts of Indigenous legal traditions; and the colonial contexts which have shaped the contemporary realities of Indigenous laws and Indigenous legal education.

PUB2 101D1 Constitutional Law (3 credits)

Public Law 2: A comprehensive treatment of the theory, law and practice of the constitution, including legislative, executive and judicial institutions in Canada. The rule of law in executive government and in the lawmaking process. Parliamentary sovereignty, constitutional amendment, and the federal system, including the division of legislative powers. Guarantees of fundamental freedoms with emphasis on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

PUB2 101D2 Constitutional Law (3 credits)

Public Law 2Must be completed in term subsequent to PUB2 101D1 Constitutional Law 3 Credits

PUB3 116 Foundations (3 credits)

Public Law 3: Overview of the spirit, history, and sources of Civil and Common Law traditions in their Canadian manifestations; introduction to Aboriginal legal traditions. The course explores issues of legal history and institutions, relationship between private and public law, comparative methodology, legal theory and ethics.

LAWG 220D1 Property (3 credits)

Law General: Integrated study of the foundations, principles and mechanisms of property law. Examination of common law, civil law and indigenous traditions in respect of property. Key relationships in respect of things and services as well as limitations on property rights.

LAWG 220D2 Property (3 credits)

Law General: See LAWG 220D1 for description. Must be completed in term subsequent to LAWG 220D1 Property (3 credits)

1The history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools
Yes. LawG 103 Indigenous Legal Traditions: implied although not explicitly mentioned
2The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Probable. UNDRIP is not explicitly mentioned. Assumed to be covered under PUB2 101D2 and PUB2 101D2 Constitutional Law
3Treaties and Aboriginal rights
Yes. LawG 103 Indigenous Legal Traditions and PUB3 116 Foundations
4Indigenous law
Yes. LawG 103 Indigenous Legal Traditions and PUB3 116 FoundationsLAWG 103
Delivers an “introduction to Indigenous law. PUB3 116 delivers an introduction to Aboriginal legal traditions.
5Aboriginal–Crown Relations
Yes. LawG 103 Indigenous Legal Traditions, PUB3 116 Foundations, and LAWG 220D1 Property
Two first courses provide historical context to address Aboriginal-Crown Relations. Property speaks to Indigenous traditions in respect of property.
Land Acknowledgement

Located on the Indigenous Initiatives page on the Faculty of Law site.

McGill University is located on land which has long served as a site of meeting and exchange amongst Indigenous peoples, including the Haudenosaunee and Anishinabeg nations. McGill honours, recognizes and respects these nations as the traditional stewards of the lands and waters on which we meet today.

All content has been submitted to the respective faculty for validation to ensure accuracy and currency as of the time of posting. McGill University Faculty of Law did respond.

Managing Editor: Douglas Sinclair: Publisher, Indigenous Watchdog
Lead Researcher, Timothy Maton: Ph.D