Rooted: A Publication on Indigenous Law

Rooted represents a conscious attempt to create space for Indigenous legalities, knowledge, and perspectives. Our contributors – academics, activists, artists, and leaders – offer insight into Indigenous ways of seeing and knowing beyond the dominant liberal paradigm. Their perspectives breathe new life into how we, as a collective, engage with Indigenous legal orders. The project is in part a response to a call that several Indigenous scholars have issued: to take Indigenous constitutional orders seriously.1

Rooted takes its name, with gratitude, from Anishinaabe scholar Aaron Mills and his formulation of ‘rooted constitutionalism.’2 To Mills, conceptions of Indigenous constitutionalism are situated within the respective lifeworlds of each Indigenous community. Lifeworlds are defined as the set of ontological, epistemological, axiological and cosmological understandings that situate Indigenous communities within creation. Their respective rooted constitutionalisms stem from their respective lifeworlds. Indigenous law and Canadian law are thus “different in kind.” As such, efforts to articulate Indigenous law within dominant paradigms of liberal constitutionalism risk ignoring and trivializing the ongoing significance of Indigenous lifeworlds to governing Indigenous peoples today.

Our collection

Volume 1 (2021)

Issue 1 – Rooted Constitutionalism

Issue 2 – Land Back

The Rooted editorial team solicits and accepts submissions on a particular theme, set annually. Submissions will be accepted on a rolling basis. Please send submissions to

This year’s Co-Editors in Chief are Sarah Nixon and Larissa Parker. Rooted is supported by its Advisory Council composed of Kirsten Anker (McGill University), Hadley Friedland (University of Alberta), and James [Sákéj] Youngblood Henderson (Native Law Centre).4

1 To name just a few examples: John Borrows, Val Napoleon, Matthew Fletcher, Sákéj Henderson,  Jeffrey Hewitt, Nancy Sandy, Aaron Mills, Lindsay Borrows, Robert Clifford.

2 Aaron Mills, “The lifeworlds of law: On revitalizing Indigenous legal orders today” (2016) 61:4 McGill Law Journal/Revue de droit de McGill at 847-884.