Dalhousie Law Journal


aboriginal, legal education, colonial norms, Canada, identity, legislation, courts, dehumanizes


It is not uncommon for Aboriginal law students to experience discomfort in studying the law The discomfort is not unique to legal studies, but the law provides a venue where the effects of the imposition of colonial norms are starkly revealed. In law school the author had to confront how Canadian law has attempted to control Aboriginal identity, at first through legislation and then through the courts. While the locus and style of controlling Aboriginal identity has changed over time, the practice of controlling Aboriginal identity is ever present. This process of control dehumanizes individualsand peoples and continues into the present. This paper examines the ways in which colonial law and legal process attempt to define Aboriginal identity.