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John Borrows

Law and Justice (2003)

There were few Aboriginal legal scholars when John Borrows started school. In a short period of time, Professor Borrows earned the first of his five academic degrees in 1987. This proud member of the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation has emerged as the leading Aboriginal legal scholar and teacher in Canada. In both his extensive research and activism on behalf of First Nations peoples, Professor Borrows illustrates that parallel systems of law and justice will forever exist in this land. Canadians can now celebrate this legal diversity because Professor Borrows knows that strong links of understanding and mutual respect can bridge the two streams. In the legal world, people take note when Borrows writes. Even the Justices on the Supreme Court of Canada have taken to citing his articles when ruling on Aboriginal cases. Now the Law Foundation Chair in Aboriginal Justice at the prestigious University of Victoria Faculty of Law, Professor Borrows has taught more than 400 Aboriginal law students across Canada and brought Aboriginal legal perspectives to thousands of non-Aboriginal law students. Professor Borrows is the author of two acclaimed legal texts — Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law and Aboriginal Law: Cases and Materials — with more on the way. He helped initiate the June Callwood Program in Aboriginal Law at the University of Toronto, was the first academic Director of First Nations Legal Studies at the University of British Columbia and founded the Intensive Program in Lands, Resources and First Nations Governments at Osgoode Hall Law School. A man on his way, John Borrows’ scholarship has just begun.