Call for Papers: Reconciliation / Wahkotowin

Taking place within Treaty Six on lands of the Enoch Cree Nation at the River Cree Resort just outside of Edmonton, Alberta, the Centre for Constitutional Studies and University of Alberta, Faculty of Law will host the conference, Reconciliation:Wahkotowin, on September 21-23, 2017.

Our conference is the culminating event of the Constitution 150 partnership: a year-long collaboration between the Centre for Constitutional Studies, University of Alberta, University of Ottawa, and the Université de Montréal to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation and to explore the critical constitutional issues of Canada’s future.   More information about Constitution 150 can be found at

Inspired by the insights of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, UNDRIP and the treaty relationships that constitute Canada’s first constitutional law, our conference will focus on how to translate the spirit of reconciliation into constitutional text, practice, culture, and law. Is constitutional reconciliation the appropriate concept to pursue? If so, how might it be accomplished? We are particularly interested in the ways in which Indigenous laws and Indigenous constitutionalism can serve as models to chart a path forward, or provide a re-imagining of constitutional relationships within Canada.

Our conference will bring together leading scholars of Indigenous and constitutional law, as well as community leaders and policy makers to discuss and examine the possibilities and hurdles of a constitutional future built on mutual respect. We take inspiration from the Cree concept, Wahkotowin and its focus on the connections, responsibilities, and meanings of deep and abiding relationships.
Confirmed speakers include:

•    Val Napoleon, Law Foundation Professor of Aboriginal Justice and Governance, University of Victoria, Faculty of Law
•    Jean Leclair, 2013 Trudeau Fellow, Université de Montréal, Faculté de droit
•    Mark Walters, F.R. Scott Chair in Public and Constitutional Law, McGill Law School
•    Margaret Froh, Metis Nation of Ontario

Proposals for papers are now invited. We seek contributions from scholars interested in a range of topics related to our theme of constitutional reconciliation and Wahkotowin: Indigenous constitutionalism, including among the Inuit and Métis peoples; the relationship between Indigenous law and conceptions of Aboriginal rights under the Constitution Act, 1982; historic and/or contemporary treaty as a model for constitutional relations within Canada; Indigenous sovereignty, federalism, and constitutional law; and any other topics and approaches that will assist us in exploring our broader theme.

If you would like to propose a paper, please submit a working title, an abstract (of no more than 350 words), and a current c.v..  Proposals from scholars at all levels of experience and a range of disciplinary perspectives including Indigenous studies, law, political science, sociology, anthropology, history and related disciplines are encouraged to submit.

Proposals should be emailed to Patricia Paradis (  before November 17, 2016. Note that presenters may be required to pay their own travel and accommodation expenses. Those selected will be notified by November 30, 2016. Questions should be submitted to Eric Adams (  or Patricia Paradis (

This content has been updated on 20 October 2016 at 17 h 15 min.