Dalhousie Law Journal


aboriginal, treaty, rights, Santi Mawio'mi, Mi'kmaq, Supreme Court of Canada, hunt, fish, Netukulimk, Atlantic Canada


Over the past 250 years, the recognition and implementation of the aboriginal and treaty rights of the Santi Mawio'mi of the Mi'kmaq has been a hard and bitter struggle for justice. Building on Mi'kmaw Aboriginal knowledge and legal traditions that inform their aboriginal and treaty rights, the Supreme Court of Canada has affirmed a Mi'kmaw right to hunt, fish, and gather in their traditional territory. The author focuses on the progression of Mi'kmaw law, drawing on the original teachings of the Mawio'mi embedded in Netukulimk and then shifting to the current legal strategy that creates a constitutional jurisgensis and a foundation for a long awaited constitutional reconciliation with the Mawiomi in Atlantic Canada. The argument not only reaffirms the importance of language, teachings, and history towards litigating Aboriginal law but also affirms the preexisting Aboriginal sovereignty of the Mawiomi as understood in their creation stories.