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John Borrows

Visiting Professor, Business and Society

Visiting Professor



LLD (York University); LLD (Law Society of Ontario (Law Society of Upper Canada)); LLD (Dalhousie University); PhD (York University); MA (University of Toronto); LLM (University of Toronto); JD (University of Toronto); BA (Hons) (University of Toronto)


John Borrows B.A., M.A., J.D., LL.M. (Toronto), Ph.D. (Osgoode Hall Law School), LL.D. (Hons., Dalhousie, York, SFU, Queen’s & Law Society of Ontario), D.H.L, (Toronto), F.R.S.C., is the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria Law School in British Columbia. His publications include, Recovering Canada; The Resurgence of Indigenous Law (Donald Smiley Award for the best book in Canadian Political Science, 2002), Canada's Indigenous Constitution (Canadian Law and Society Best Book Award 2011), Drawing Out Law: A Spirit's Guide (2010), Freedom and Indigenous Constitutionalism ((Donald Smiley Award for the best book in Canadian Political Science, 2016), The Right Relationship (with Michael Coyle, ed.), Resurgence and Reconciliation (with Michael Asch, Jim Tully, eds.), Law’s Indigenous Ethics (2020 Best subsequent Book Award from Native American and Indigenous Studies Association). He is the 2017 Killam Prize winner in Social Sciences and the 2019 Molson Prize Winner from the Canada Council for the Arts, the 2020 Governor General’s Innovation Award. John is Anishinaabe/Ojibway and a member of the Chippewa of the Nawash First Nation in Ontario, Canada.

Selected Publications

articles and reports

Borrows, J. (2018). Outsider Education: Indigenous law and land-based learning. Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice, 33(1), 1-27.

Borrows, J. (2017). Challenging historical frameworks: Aboriginal rights, the trickster, and originalism. Canadian Historical Review, 98(1), 114-135.

Borrows, J. (2016). Heroes, Tricksters, Monsters, and Caretakers: Indigenous Law and Legal Education. McGill Law Journal, 61(4), 795-846.

Borrows, J. (2016). Seven Gifts: Revitalizing Living Laws Through Indigenous Legal Practice. Lakehead Law Journal, 2(1), 2-14.

Borrows, J. (2016). Unextinguished: Rights and the Indian Act. University of New Brunswick Law Journal, 67(1), 3-35.

Borrows, J. (2015). The durability of Terra Nullius: Tsihqot'in v British Columbia. UBC Law Review, 48(3).

Borrows, J. (2015). Gender and violence: Drawing on Indigenous legal resources. UBC Law Review, 48(2), 593-654.

Borrows, J. (2015). Aboriginal title and private property. Supreme Court Law Review, 71.

Borrows, J. (2014). Residential schools, respect, and responsibilities for past harms. University of Toronto Law Journal, 64(4), 486-504.

Borrows, J. (2013). Aboriginal and treaty rights and violence against women. Osgoode Hall Law Journal, 50(3), 699-736.

Borrows, J. (2012). Originalism and aboriginal rights. Supreme Court Law Review, 58, 352-398.

books chapters and monographs

Asch, M., Borrows, J., Borrows, J., & Tully, J. (Ed.). (2018). Resurgence and reconciliation: Indigenous-settler relations and earth teachings. University of Toronto Press.

Borrows, J. (2018). Earth-bound: Indigenous resurgence and environmental reconciliation. Resurgence and Reconciliation: Indigenous-Settler Relations and Earth Teachings (pp. 49-81). University of Toronto Press.

Borrows, J., & Rotman, L. I. (2018). Aboriginal Legal Issues - Cases, Materials and Commentary, 5th Edition. LexisNexis.

Borrows, J. (2017). Indigenous Constitutionalism: Pre-existing Legal Genealogies in Canada. The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution (pp. 1168). Oxford University Press.

Borrows, J., Borrows, J., & Coyle, M. (Ed.). (2017). The right relationship: Reimagining the implementation of historical treaties. University of Toronto Press.

Macklem, P., Rogerson, C., Borrows, J., Risk, R. C. B., Elliot, R., Roach, K., Gaudreault-DesBiens, J., Ryder, B., Greschner, D., Schneiderman, D., Leclair, J., Weinrib, L., Lee, I., Albert, R., Moon, R., & Stewart, H. (2016). Canadian Constitutional Law, 5th Edition. Emond Publishing.

Borrows, J. (2016). Legislation and indigenous self-determination in Canada and the United States. In Macklem, P., & Sanderson, D. (Eds.), From Recognition to Reconciliation: Essays on the Constitutional Entrenchment of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights (pp. 474-505). University of Toronto Press.

Borrows, J. (2016). Freedom and indigenous constitutionalism. University of Toronto Press.

Borrows, J. (2015). Legislation and Indigenous Rights. In Macklem, P., & Sanderson, D. (Eds.), From Recognition to Reconciliation: Essays on the Constitutional Entrenchment of Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. University of Toronto Press.

Borrows, J. (2014). Law schools and indigenous legal traditions. In Child, B. J., & Klopotek, B. (Eds.), Indian Subjects: Hemispheric Perspectives on the History of Indigenous Education. SAR Press.

Borrows, J. (2013). An analysis of and dialogue on indigenous and Crown blockades. In Thomsons, S., & Mayer, L. (Eds.), Philosophy and Aboriginal Rights. Oxford University Press.

Borrows, J. (2010). Drawing out law: A spirit's guide. University of Toronto Press.

Borrows, J., Macklem, P., Rogerson, C., Bakan, J., Choudhry, S., Elliot, R., Gaudreault-DesBiens, J., Greschner, D., Hughes, P., Leclair, J., Lee, I., Moon, R., Risk, R., Roach, K., Ryder, B. B., Schneiderman, D., & Weinrib, L. (2010). Canadian Constitutional Law, 4th edition. Emond Montgomery Publications.

Borrows, J. (2010). Canada’s indigenous constitution. University of Toronto Press.

Borrows, J., & Richardson, B. (2009). Physical philosophy: Mobility and future of indigenous rights. In Imai, S. (Eds.), Indigenous Peoples and the Law: Comparative and critical perspectives. Hart Publishing.

Borrows, J., & Moon, R. J. (2008). Living law on a living earth: Aboriginal religion, law and the constitution. In Moon, R. J. (Eds.), Constitutional Law, Religion and Citizenship in Canada. UBC Press.

Borrows, J. (2002). Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of indigenous law. University of Toronto Press.