Week Six: Karen Drake and readings from Tsilhqot’in vs. the Crown

This week, we will have the pleasure of listening to Karen Drake, Associate Professor & Director, Indigenous Outreach at Osgoode Hall Law School at York University and citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario. Professor Drake will discuss the claimed legal justifications for Canada’s assertion of sovereignty over this territory, including conquest, prescription (based on the passage of time), cession (based on treaties), and the doctrine of discovery. From within the perspective of Canadian law, the justification for Canada’s asserted sovereignty has only ever been the doctrine of discovery, which lacks normative legitimacy. The doctrine of Aboriginal rights, including Aboriginal title, follows from and is a remnant of the doctrine of discovery.

To illustrate some of her points, Professor Drake will be referring to Tsilhqot’in vs. Crown (2014) SCC 44. This case draws heavily on Delgamuukw, which we read in week 2. She has said that her talk will be structured such that it should be accessible even to those who have not read the decision. However, for those interested, she recommend reading the following paragraphs: 18, 24-25, 27-30, 32-38, 41-97, 153.

Looking forward to seeing you all there! Please invite your friends and acquaintances. Remember 100% of the donations collected at this talk will be given to the Unist’ot’en Camp Legal Fund.