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gavigan legal history.pdf

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York University
ANTH 1120
Rebecca Jubis

Citation 3 SocioLegal Rev 71 2007 Content downloadedprinted from HeinOnline httpheinonlineorgMon May 20 153258 2013 Your use of this HeinOnline PDF indicates your acceptance of HeinOnlines Terms and Conditions of the license agreement available at httpheinonlineorgHOLLicense The search text of this PDF is generated fromuncorrected OCR text To obtain permission to use this article beyond the scope of your HeinOnline license please use httpswwwcopyrightcomcccbasicSearchdo operationgosearchType0lastSearchsimpleallontitleOrStdNo09735216SocioLegal ReviewVOL 20073PRISONER GAVE ME ANYHING WHAT HE DONENEVER FOR ABORIGINAL VOICES IN THE CRIMINAL COURTShelley AM GaviganAboriginal people participated in different ways in the criminal process in theearly years of the NorthWest Territories region of Canada including asaccused persons as Informants and as witnesses Their physical participationwas often mediated by the police Indian agents and sometimes their ChiefsTheir words were also mediated by interpreters both linguistic and culturalX and their signatures invariably marked as on their depositionsScholarship that has examined the relationship of Aboriginal peoples to thecriminal law has tended to interrogate the criminalization and moralregulation strategies implicit in the process of colonization and domination ofthe First Peoples This paper will discuss less visible aspects of the legalizedprocesses of colonization 1 the participation of Plains Cree Saulteaux andMitis peoples among others whose traditional values and norms nonethelessseep through the handwritten translated transcription and alien norms of theCanadian criminal court and 2 cases in which Aboriginal complainantsinvoked the criminaltheir substantive inequality who notwithstanding process to insist that those who wronged them also be punished in accordancewith the principles of Canadian lawIn colonial lawit is tempting but wrong to view anyparticipation in an imposed legal system as collaboration on theone hand and to represent any form of rejection of the lawsauthority as resistanceIntroductionCriminal law is generally understood to be the perfect expression of acoercive legal form expressing as it does the power of the state to criminalizeto enforce and to punish This article concerned with a particular form ofEarlier versions of this article were presented at the Legal History Workshop FacultyofLaw University of Toronto Toronto Ontario Canada March 2003 at the Annual Meetingof the Canadian LawSociety Association University of Manitoba 2004 and at theDepartment of Sociology and Anthropology Simon Fraser University Burnaby BritishColumbia Canada February 12 2007 Professor Osgoode Hall Law School York University Toronto1 BENTON LAW AND COLONIAL CULTURES LEGAL REGIMES IN WORLD HISTORY 14001900 172002HeinOnline 3 SocioLegal Rev 71 2007
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