Document Type


Publication Date


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(2014) 77 Saskatchewan Law Review 173-203


Litigation involving the rights of Indigenous peoples in Canada usually involves historical facts and events from a long time ago, sometimes as far back as 400 years. This reality presents significant challenges for proof of the facts upon which these rights are based. In addition to historical documents, the parties have to rely on testimony by Indigenous witnesses who are able to present the oral histories and traditions of their people, as well as on the opinion evidence of experts such as archaeologists, anthropologists, linguists, historians, ethnohistorians, and legal historians. In this paper, I examine the role of legal historians in Indigenous rights cases, using the example of one academic in particular as an illustration.


This article was also published as a book chapter in John Borrows and Michael Coyle (eds.), The Right Relationship; Reimagining the Implementation of Historical Treaties (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2017), 70-104.

Copyrighted by the Saskatchewan Law Review.

Redistributed with permission of the publisher.