Telling It to the Judge: Taking Native History to Court

Telling It to the Judge: Taking Native History to Court

by Arthur J. Ray

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In 1973, the Supreme Court's historic Calder decision on the Nisga'a community's title suit in British Columbia launched the Native rights litigation era in Canada. Legal claims have raised questions with significant historical implications, such as, "What treaty rights have survived in various parts of Canada? What is the scope of Aboriginal title? Who are the Métis, where do they live, and what is the nature of their culture and their rights?" Arthur Ray's extensive knowledge in the history of the fur trade and Native economic history brought him into the courts as an expert witness in the mid-1980s. For over twenty-five years he has been a part of landmark litigation concerning treaty rights, Aboriginal title, and Métis rights. In Telling It to the Judge, Ray recalls lengthy courtroom battles over lines of evidence, historical interpretation, and philosophies of history, reflecting on the problems inherent in teaching history in the adversarial courtroom setting. Told with charm and based on extensive experience, Telling It to the Judge is a unique narrative of courtroom strategy in the effort to obtain constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and treaty rights.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780773540804
Publisher: McGill-Queens University Press
Publication date: 10/01/2012
Series: McGill-Queen's Native and Northern Series , #65
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Arthur J. Ray is professor emeritus of history at the University of British Columbia and author of An Illustrated History of Canada's Native People: I Have Lived Here Since the World Began.

Table of Contents

List of Tables xi

List of Figures xiii

Acknowledgments xvii

Foreword Jean Teillet xix

Introduction Peter W. Hutchins xxiii

Prologue xxxvii

1 Taking Fur Trade History to Court 3

2 Roles and Reversals of the Historical Researcher 17

3 Defending Traditional Fisheries and Harvesting Rights 44

4 Interpretation of a Treaty: Share or Surrender? 66

5 Witnessing on Behalf of a Forgotten People 88

6 Defining Métis Communities and Customs 105

7 Defending the Aboriginal Right to Hunt 121

8 "To Educate the Court" 145

Appendix 1 Delgamuukw Exhibit No. 964: District Reports of Hudson's Bay Company Chief Trader William Brown 161

Appendix 2 Transcript of My PowerPoint Presentation in Samson, 3 October 2000 202

Notes 219

Bibliography 245

Index 253

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