Let Right Be Done

Aboriginal Title, the Calder Case, and the Future of Indigenous Rights

Edited by Hamar Foster, Heather Raven & Jeremy Webber
Categories: Jurisprudence and general issues, Law
Series: Law and Society
Publisher: UBC Press
Paperback : 9780774814041, 352 pages, July 2008

Table of contents

1 The Calder Decision, Aboriginal Title, Treaties, and the Nisga’a / Christina Godlewska and Jeremy Webber

Part 1: Reflections of the Calder Participants

2 Frank Calder and Thomas Berger: A Conversation

3 Reminiscences of Aboriginal Rights at the Time of the Calder Case and Its Aftermath / Honourable Gérard V. La Forest

Part 2: Historical Background

4 We Are Not O’Meara’s Children: Law, Lawyers, and the First Campaign for Aboriginal Title in British Columbia, 1908–28 / Hamar Foster

5 Then Fight For It: William Lewis Paul and Alaska Native Land Claims / Stephen Haycox

Part 3: Calder and Its Implications

6 Calder and the Representation of Indigenous Society in Canadian Jurisprudence / Michael Asch

7 A Taxonomy of Aboriginal Rights / Brian Slattery

8 Judicial Approaches to Self-Government since Calder: Searching for Doctrinal Coherence / Kent McNeil

Part 4: International Impact

9 Customary Rights and Crown Claims: Calder and Aboriginal Title in Aotearoa New Zealand / David V. Williams

10 The Influence of Canadian and International Law on the Evolution of Australian Aboriginal Title / Garth Nettheim

Part 5: The Future

11 Let Obligations Be Done / John Borrows

12 Closing Thoughts: Final Remarks from Iona Campagnolo, Lance Finch, Joseph Gosnell, and Frank Calder


Notes; Bibliography; Index


In 1973 the Supreme Court of Canada issued a landmark decision in the Calder case, confirming that Aboriginal title constituted a right within Canadian law. Let Right Be Done examines the doctrine of Aboriginal title thirty years later and puts the Calder case in its legal, historical, and political context, both nationally and internationally. With its innovative blend of scholarly analysis and input from many of those intimately involved in the case, this book should be essential reading for anyone interested in Aboriginal law, treaty negotiations, and the history of the “BC Indian land question. ”