Val Napoleon and Hadley Friedland
This chapter sketches four phases or eras that characterize the changing state of debate regarding Indigenous legal traditions and highlights the progress and ongoing challenges faced by Indigenous people in trying to recover these legal traditions as part of their decolonization and self-determination efforts. It begins by setting out a logical starting point from which to root the discussion about Indigenous legal traditions. Attention then turns to the repression of Indigenous legal traditions during early colonization and the resilience of these traditions through this dark period, along with the contemporary recovery and revitalization of Indigenous laws despite the limited spaces afforded to them by state justice systems. The chapter looks at the wetiko (also known as windigo) in order to highlight the broader issues all Indigenous legal traditions have had to contend with through the four eras described. The Indigenous experiences are examined in relation to Canada’s criminal justice system.
This chapter focuses on forms of literature that deal with the institutions and administration of criminal law, from detective fiction to courtroom novels. It explores how these literary forms experiment with the relations between real and imaginary crimes, and with narrative modes of tracing their origins and consequences. After providing a historical background, the chapter turns to academic research (law in literature, literature in law, law as literature, legal aesthetics), and offers two case studies (Susan Glaspell’s “A Jury of Her Peers” and Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) to show how literature can open up questions about criminal law doctrines and the grounds on which they operate. The discussion concludes by considering the possibilities opened up by recent research in cognitive literary studies. The chapter also includes bibliographies of primary texts, critical literature, and web-based resources.