Ghost Dancing with Colonialism

Decolonization and Indigenous Rights at the Supreme Court of Canada

Grace Li Xiu Woo

  • Published: 2011. Paperback 2012
  • Subject Listing: Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 281 pp., 6 illus., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

Some assume that Canada earned a place among postcolonial states in 1982 when it took charge of its Constitution. Yet despite the formal recognition accorded to Aboriginal and treaty rights at that time, Indigenous peoples continue to argue that they are still being colonized. Grace Woo assesses this allegation using a binary model that distinguishes colonial from postcolonial legality. She argues that two legal paradigms governed the expansion of the British Empire, one based on popular consent, the other on conquest and the power to command. Ghost Dancing with Colonialism casts explanatory light on ongoing tensions between Canada and Indigenous peoples.
Grace Li Xiu Woo is a retired member of the LawSociety of British Columbia. She has taught in the Program of LegalStudies for Native People at the University of Saskatchewan.

"This book has impressive scholarly depth, and in a systematic and challenging way makes a major contribution to understanding and assessing the Supreme Court's decision-making with respect to Aboriginal peoples in the quarter century since Aboriginal and treaty rights have been formally recognized in Canada's Constitution."
-Peter H. Russell, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at the University of Toronto and author of Recognizing Aboriginal Title
Introduction: Ghost Dancing and S. 35

Part 1: Paradigms and the British Empire

1 Anomalies

2 Conceptual Structures

3 Colonial and Postcolonial Legality

Part 2: Case Study: Indigenous Rights and Decolonization at
the Supreme Court of Canada

4 Methodology

5 Internal Architecture of the Court's

6 Trends and Dance Tunes

7 Can the Court Become Postcolonial?

Appendix 1: Chronological List of Cases Studied

Appendix 2: Judicial Careers

Appendix 3: Judicial Reasoning Profiles

Appendix 4: Assessment of Reasoning

Appendix 5: Use of the Canadian Judicial Institution


Selected Bibliography

General Index

Index of Cases

Index of Legislation, Treaties, and Accords