Joan Ryan and her research team have carefully documented Dogrib traditional justice as it has been practised over the past century. Relying upon information received from the elders of Lac La Martre, Northwest Territories, they have unearthed a sophisticated body of Dogrib law, the understanding of which has important implications for contemporary ways in which the Dogrib people and the department of justice can deal with social control. The material is organized and presented in a way that makes it accessible to both Dene and non-Dene readers alike. The methodology of the book is one of "participatory action research," in which the community itself owned and directed the research, training, and outcomes. By exposing the very different values and legal systems of the Dene and non-Dene, this book sets the framework for the possibility of a Dene-controlled and culturally appropriate justice system. The book will be of value to those interested in native self-government, constitutional rights, and aboriginal law, as well as to all those involved with First Nations peoples.
The late Joan Ryan was professor emerita of anthropology at the University of Calgary, as well as a senior researcher with the Arctic Institute of North America.
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