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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Bourgeois,"Race, Space, and Prostitution: The Making of Settler Colonial Canada"

Robyn Bourgeois of Brock University has published "Race, Space, and Prostitution: The Making of Settler Colonial Canada" in Race, Gender, and Law: A Tribute to the Scholarship of Sherene Razack - Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, 30.3, 2018.

This article examines the fundamental role that prostitution has played in securing settler colonial domination over Indigenous peoples and lands in the historical and ongoing making of the Canadian nation-state. Using the theoretical and methodological framework developed by critical anti-racist feminist scholar Sherene Razack, this article offers a spatial analysis tracing how prostitution has been deployed, repeatedly and in distinctly racialized and gendered ways, to secure settler colonial domination in Canada. This analysis focuses on four key examples: (1) early settlement in British Columbia; (2) the Indian Act; (3) the Pass System; and, more recently, (4) Vancouver's Missing Women. It also focuses on how these settler colonial deployments of prostitution contributed (and, in some ways, continue to contribute) not only to violence against Indigenous women and girls but also to the justification, legitimation, and erasure of this violence and, thus, its normalization within settler colonial society.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

New from UBC Press: Disabling Barriers: Social Movements, Disability History, and the Law

Disabling Barriers

Social Movements, Disability History, and the Law

Edited by Ravi Malhotra and Benjamin Isitt

Disabling Barriers
Disabling Barriers analyzes issues relating to disability at different moments in Canadian and American history. In this volume, legal scholars, historians, and disability-rights activists demonstrate that disabled people can change their social status by transforming the political and legal discourse surrounding disablement.
Traditionally, disabled people were regarded as objects of pity and condescension. The rise of the social model of disablement – which identifies barriers, rather than physiological impairments, as the main problem facing people with disabilities – has resulted in a dramatic reconfiguration of how we regard political and legal structures affecting people with disabilities. Employing tools from the fields of law and history, this volume explores how disabled people have been portrayed and treated in a variety of contexts, including within the labour market, the workers’ compensation system, the immigration process, and the legal system (both as litigants and as lawyers).
This original contribution deepens our knowledge of the role of people with disabilities within social movements in disability history. The contributors encourage us to rethink our understanding of both the systemic barriers disabled people face and the capacity of disabled people to effect positive societal change.
This book will be of interest to scholars in the fields of disability studies, disability history, and disability law, as well as to disability activists in Canada and the United States.

Endowed Chair in Criminology and Criminal Justice--St. Thomas University, Fredericton

St. Thomas University is an undergraduate, liberal arts institution with a full-time enrolment of 1800. Its students graduate with Bachelor of Arts, Applied Arts, Education, and Social Work degrees. The faculty members are distinguished teachers, researchers and scholars, and the university holds two Canada Research Chairs.

Through a special endowment in Criminology and Criminal Justice, St. Thomas University is able to host the position of Endowed Chair in Criminology and Criminal Justice for a maximum of four months each year. The Endowed Chair is offered to a scholar with a well-established record of research. Candidates for an Endowed Chair appointment would normally have a PhD in Criminology or related field. Those appointed to the Chair are expected to teach one undergraduate course mutually agreed upon by the Department and the Chair holder, conduct research in criminology/criminal justice, and/or participate in a special symposium in their area of expertise.Appointment to the Chair includes travel and living expenses while in Fredericton, a research allowance, and a stipend of $24,000.00.

Additionally, an application under the Endowed Chair could be for a shorter time period and a specific activity that could include, but is not limited to: a workshop, conference, public lecture, series of class presentations, engagement with government agencies and non-profit agencies including, but not limited to: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Public Safety New Brunswick, Correctional Services of Canada, John Howard Society, Elizabeth Fry Society, etc.

St. Thomas University is soliciting applications for either the January-April term or the September-December term. We are particularly interested in applications from researchers with expertise in the following areas: Crime Reduction Strategies, Effective Correctional Programming, Evidence-based Crime Prevention, Indigenous Peoples and the criminal justice system, Female Offenders, Senior Offenders, Cultural Criminology, Justice Involved & Youth, Organized Crime, Policing, Drug Policy, Cyber Security, Hate Crime & Hate Speech, Wrongful Convictions, or other areas of expertise in criminology and criminal justice.

Applications should include a statement of the research and other activities that will be conducted during the term of the Chair, including the course that would be offered, the term that would be most suitable for the appointment, a curriculum vitae, samples of scholarly writing, and arrange to have three letters of reference sent directly to Dr. Kim Fenwick, Vice-President (Academic & Research), St. Thomas University, Fredericton, NB, Canada, E3B 5G3. Electronic applications may be sent to

Closing date: April 15th, 2019, or when the position is filled. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that their completed applications, including letters of reference, are received by this date.

An equal opportunity employer, St. Thomas University is committed to employment equity for women, Aboriginal peoples, members of visible minority groups, and persons with disabilities. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Kirkby, "Reconstituting Canada: The Enfranchisement and Disenfranchisement of ‘Indians’, c. 1837-1900"

Coel Kirkby, of University of Sydney Law School, has posted  "Reconstituting Canada: The Enfranchisement and Disenfranchisement of ‘Indians’, c. 1837-1900" on SSRN. The article is forthcoming in the University of Toronto Law Journal.


The constitutional history of Canada and First Nations is often told as the promise fulfilled of Aboriginal rights and treaties. I will challenge this dominant story by recovering the story of the enfranchisement and disenfranchisement of ‘Indian’ subjects in the first three decades of Canadian confederation. Far from forgotten actors in a foretold play, ‘Indian’ voters were crucial to determining the outcome of three closely-contested federal elections and challenging settler ideas of the nascent Canadian nation. The question of the ‘Indian’ franchise was always embedded in competing constitutional visions for Confederation. The Canadian dream of transforming and assimilating Indigenous peoples would give way to a cynical idea of segregation under the permanent regime of the Indian Act. If the Indian franchise was the apotheosis of assimilation, its revocation marked the start of racial segregation. I juxtapose these Canadian constitutional visions with two alternative possibilities. The Anishinaabe-dominated Grand General Council accepted the franchise as part of its vision of reconciling membership in both their treaty-recognized nations and the Canadian state. The Confederacy Council of the Six Nations, in contrast, rejected the franchise as an existential threat to Haudenosaunee self-rule mediated by a treaty relationship with the Canadian and imperial governments. Recovering the constitutional contests driving Indian enfranchisement and disenfranchisement shows us of how the successful imposition of a single vision of a white democracy silenced alternative visions of a multi-national coexistence. It also reminds us of the multiplicity of constitutional possibilities for a common constitutional future.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

McMillan, Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice

Truth and ConvictionThe UBC Press has published Truth and Conviction: Donald Marshall Jr. and the Mi’kmaw Quest for Justice, by L. Jane McMillan, as part of its terrific Law and Society Series.

The name “Donald Marshall Jr.” is synonymous with “wrongful conviction” and the fight for Indigenous rights in Canada. In Truth and Conviction, Jane McMillan – Marshall’s former partner, an acclaimed anthropologist, and an original defendant in the Supreme Court’s Marshall decision on Indigenous fishing rights – tells the story of how Marshall’s fight against injustice permeated Canadian legal consciousness and revitalized Indigenous law.
Marshall was destined to assume the role of hereditary chief of Mi’kmaw Nation when, in 1971, at the age of seventeen, he was wrongly convicted of murder. He spent more than eleven years in jail before a royal commission exonerated him and exposed the entrenched racism underlying the terrible miscarriage of justice. Four years later, in 1993, he was charged with fishing eels without a licence. With the backing of Mi’kmaw chiefs and the Union of Nova Scotia Indians, he took the case all the way to the Supreme Court to vindicate Indigenous treaty rights in the landmark Marshall decision.
Marshall was only fifty-five when he died in 2009. His legacy lives on as Mi’kmaq continue to assert their rights and build justice programs grounded in customary laws and practices, key steps in the path to self-determination and reconciliation.
This book will appeal to anyone interested in the Donald Marshall story, Indigenous peoples encounters with the law, and social justice issues.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Kent Roach, Canadian Justice, Indigenous Injustice: The Gerald Stanley and Colten Boushie Case

New from McGill-Queen's University Press:

Kent Roach, Canadian Justice, Indigenous Injustice: The Gerald Stanley and Colten Boushie Case

Putting Gerald Stanley's acquittal for killing Colten Boushie in the context of Canada's colonial and systemic discrimination against Indigenous peoples.

In August 2016 Colten Boushie, a twenty-two-year-old Cree man from Red Pheasant First Nation, was fatally shot on a Saskatchewan farm by white farmer Gerald Stanley. In a trial that bitterly divided Canadians, Stanley was acquitted of both murder and manslaughter by a jury in Battleford with no visible Indigenous representation.

In Canadian Justice, Indigenous Injustice Kent Roach critically reconstructs the Gerald Stanley/Colten Boushie case to examine how it may be a miscarriage of justice. Roach provides historical, legal, political, and sociological background to the case including misunderstandings over crime when Treaty 6 was negotiated, the 1885 hanging of eight Indigenous men at Fort Battleford, the role of the RCMP, prior litigation over Indigenous underrepresentation on juries, and the racially charged debate about defence of property and rural crime. Drawing on both trial transcripts and research on miscarriages of justice, Roach looks at jury selection, the controversial “hang fire” defence, how the credibility and beliefs of Indigenous witnesses were challenged on the stand, and Gerald Stanley's implicit appeals to self-defence and defence of property, as well as the decision not to appeal the acquittal. Concluding his study, Roach asks whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's controversial call to “do better” is possible, given similar cases since Stanley's, the difficulty of reforming the jury or the RCMP, and the combination of Indigenous underrepresentation on juries and overrepresentation among those victimized and accused of crimes.

Informed and timely, Canadian Justice, Indigenous Injustice is a searing account of one case that provides valuable insight into criminal justice, racism, and the treatment of Indigenous peoples in Canada.