Metis legal orders: Zoe Todd, ‘From a Fishy Place: Examining Canadian State Law Applied in the Daniels Decision from the Perspective of Métis Legal Orders’, Topia, 36, 2016, pp. 43-57
Abstract: This piece examines the Supreme Court of Canada’s Daniels decision through the lens of Métis legal orders and human-fish relations. It offers watershed-level analysis of Métis relationships and responsibilities through space and time. In order to meet the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action number 45, which acknowledges the need for Canada to reconcile Indigenous legal orders with Canadian law, courts must stop defining the Métis through outside discourses of who they are and how they govern themselves. Instead, there must be a shift towards acknowledging complex and rich Métis legal orders. Further, it is important for legal scholars to acknowledge how specific aspects of Métis legal orders are coconstituted through relationships with, and responsibilities to, more-than-human beings such as fish, and that these relationships are bound to and enacted through ongoing labour between humans and fish in particular waterways throughout the prairies. Scholars and policy-makers alike must de-anthropocentrize understandings of how Métis conceive of and govern their relationships to lands and waters.
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