Rooted: An Indigenous Law Publication

Rooted aims to showcase academic articles, editorial pieces, poetry, art, and other forms of content generated on topics of Indigenous law. The platform features contributions from Indigenous scholars, elders, youth, and allies on an annual theme. 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. In particular, the name is inspired by Mills’ work on ‘rooted constitutionalism’.2 As he writes, Indigenous law is not only different from Canadian law  – rather, the two aredifferent in kind.” As such, “efforts to articulate Indigenous law within the forms of liberal constitutionalism ignore or trivialize the ongoing significance of Indigenous lifeworlds to governance of Indigenous lives today.”3

The name was chosen to encourage visitors to reflect on the differences between liberal and Indigenous ways of being, knowing, and understanding law, a theme central to Mills’ work. The project is driven by the dual objectives of questioning the foundations of liberal ways of being, and making space for Indigenous knowledge, perspectives, and legalities. We hope to do this by providing a platform for exploration of an annual theme, where contributions are invited in any medium. Rooted also aims to be welcoming to people who do not live in the often rigid and exclusionary world of academia. Settlers who join Rooted are invited to consider and propose imaginative ways in which we can use our privilege – and our attendant responsibility – to support Indigenous law revitalization, always while taking direction from members of the communities we seek to support.

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

Our collection:

Series I: Law and Language

Series II: Food Sovereignty

Series III: Land Back
(to be published in May 2021)

Special Issue: Rooted constitutionalism
(to be published in May 2021)

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.

3 Ibid at 848.

4 See also the 2018 note from Dean Leckey, introducing this initiative.