Potchefstroom Electronic Law Journal (Dec 2019)

Did I Break It? Recording Indigenous (Customary) Law

  • Val Napoleon

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 22


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In this paper, I explore several issues emerging in the discourse about the recording of indigenous law by drawing on several examples of my research and work with indigenous law in Canada. This is an important inquiry because there are limiting and disturbing fundamentalist premises underlying the debate regarding the recording of indigenous law. To take up these issues, I analyse and articulate the law and legal processes from two indigenous oral histories. The question under consideration is whether by this recording and analysis, I have somehow damaged Gitxsan law. In other words, did I break it?