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Indigenous treaties underpin political order

A leading Canadian scholar on indigenous law will next week give a free public lecture at The University of Auckland.

Professor John Borrows from the Law Faculty at the University of Victoria, British Columbia will speak on "Creating indigenous countries: Indigenous treaties in Canada and New Zealand".

Professor Borrows regards treaties between indigenous peoples and the Crown as "foundational agreements" in a country's creation. "They underlie political order because they allowed for the settlement and development of large portions of countries where they were signed, while at the same time promising certainty for indigenous peoples' possession of lands and in pursuit of their livelihoods."

Indigenous peoples are not the only beneficiaries under the treaties, he says. "Others also have treaty rights. This fact holds great significance to solving pressing problems encountered in states that have indigenous treaties."

An Anishinabe (the third largest Indian tribe in North America) and member of the Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation, Professor Borrows will visit all New Zealand law faculties as this year's NZ Law Foundation Distinguished Visiting Fellow.

His public lecture is at 6pm on Thursday 4 May in the Stone Lecture Theatre, Level 3, Building 801, Faculty of Law, 9 Eden Crescent.


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