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January 28 , 2010

For Future Generations:

Reconciling Gitxsan and Canadian Law


“. . . For Future Generations exemplifies Dr. Mills’ ongoing commitment to reconciliation and her motivation to provide a model for collaborative land use planning and management between the Crown and Aboriginal people.” -Don Ryan, Hanamuxw, from the foreword. Relying extensively on the court transcripts from Delgam’Uukw v. British Columbia, her own research, and material provided by the Gitxsan Hereditary Chiefs’ office, Dawn Mills paints a compelling picture of the Gitxsan relationship to the land and their community, and their court battle all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court to prove their Aboriginal right to land and self-government. Contrary to the position taken by many legal scholars, Mills argues that the trial judgement in the Delgam’Uukw opened up new opportunities for First Nations people to present evidence based on oral traditions that had not been previously accepted by the courts. While the book focuses on the judgments rendered in the Gitxsan’s struggle in the courts and an analysis of the judgments and strategies utilized, it is more than a law book. Written to appeal to a wide audience, Dawn Mills passionately shows how reconciliation can be achieved between Canada’s First Nations and the various levels of government. The lessons to be learned from this book can be applied equally to all Indigenous communities in Canada and elsewhere.
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