A recent controversy about plans to build a pipeline through unceded Indigenous territory catalyzed an unprecedented wave of national and international protest. In this policy memo Keith Cherry (University of Victoria, Centre for Global Studies, Cedar Trees Institute), argues that the ensuing political debate represents an important opportunity to rethink Canada’s approach to Indigenous law. Cherry contends that cycles of conflict like this one are a natural result of the fact that Canadian law provides few multilateral mechanisms for conflict resolution, stressing that the European Union’s system of “constitutional pluralism” “might help Settler negotiators to engage in a much-needed re-imagining of their current approach to Indigenous law”, as it offers a helpful way to think about legal pluralism – rather than empowering a single party to resolve disputes unilaterally.
This policy memo is part of a series of ten policy recommendations that were produced in the course of the Jean Monnet Support for Associations project “Building capacity for Canada’s European Studies community: the European Community Studies Association Canada (ECSA-C) as a research and outreach hub” (ECSA-Cn). Young ECSA-C scholars from Canada and Europe were invited to come up with policy advise in their respective fields of research in close collaboration with the five ECSA-C research groups and their leads (Democracy/ Oliver Schmidtke; Environment, Climate Change and Energy/ Joan Debardeleben; Foreign Policy and Security/ / Frédéric Mérand; Migration/ Ruben Zaiotti; Political Economy/ Kurt Hübner) and the initiative Europe Canada Network (EUCAnet.org/ coordinated by Beate Schmidtke, Centre for Global Studies, University of Victoria). The policy memo series is designed to contribute to the public debate on core challenges in public policy making with a particular emphasis on comparative, transatlantic perspectives. It is co-funded by the Erasmus+ Jean Monnet Program of the European Union.