Reviving Indigenous languages is central to reviving Indigenous laws

I just read a brilliant article by a legal scholar doing a deep dive into Indigenous languages and grammar as a critical step in revitalizing Indigenous law.

The mix of law and grammar might sound dry and academic, but author Naiomi Metallic, Associate Professor and Chancellor’s Chair of Aboriginal Law and Policy at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, makes it readable, and incredibly useful in understanding Indigenous worldviews.

“My aim has been to show that the information encoded in language is rich and how it can inform the workings of an Indigenous legal order,” Mettalic wrote in a draft of “Five Linguistic Methods for Revitalizing Indigenous Law,” scheduled for publication in the McGill Law Journal.

Bottom line: Languages reflect cultural norms, values, and worldviews which shape peoples’ sense of law and justice. Embedded in Indigenous languages are values and worldviews differ from those expressed in English, the language of colonialism and capitalism.

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