Ghislain Otis

Canada Research Chair in Legal Diversity and Aboriginal Peoples

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2016-02-01
University of Ottawa
Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

613-562-5800 ext./poste 3236

Research involves

Studying the existing relations between state law and Aboriginal legal traditions.

Research relevance

Designing new tools that will help to coordinate Canada’s legal systems in the context of Aboriginal governance.

Development through Dialogue between Legal Cultures

When a territorial, social or political conflict erupts between Canada’s Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal societies, it is often because of different—even opposing—conceptions of the law and what is legal.

As the Canada Research Chair in Legal Diversity and Aboriginal Peoples, Ghislain Otis is studying the relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal legal systems, as well as ways of coordinating these systems to ensure social and economic governance that not only is effective but also respects the legal identities of Aboriginal peoples.

Dr. Otis’s team is working in the following areas: determining how Canada’s Western and Aboriginal legal cultures interact; analyzing and interpreting these interaction processes in terms of their capacity for fostering legal diversity; and proposing practical approaches that governments and Aboriginal peoples can adopt to support the creation of legal diversity that is viable—in other words, that is compatible with Canada’s legal, political, economic and social stability.

Dr. Otis’s research will help to find ways of overcoming current tensions and conflicts through dialogue between legal cultures, to improve understanding of the profound changes occurring in law, and to measure the impact of these changes on the legal security of individuals and groups in Canada.