Neil Montgomery: The Religious Threads of Canada’s Colonial Constitution

Date(s) - November 23, 2023
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm

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Indigenous peoples in Canada often ground their claim to contemporary constitutional authority on their existence on these lands since ‘time immemorial’. Such ideas have a long history in common law traditions.

In this talk I explore early-modern forms of such claims, drawing on 16th Century theologian Richard Hooker and 17th-Century jurist Edward Coke to suggest that a greater appreciation of the religious threads of Canada’s constitutional past can help clarify the challenge of contemporary Indigenous-state relations.

Neil Montgomery is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at UVic and a CSRS graduate fellow. His research focuses on the role of history in the theory and practice of Canadian constitutionalism. Edward Coke, attributed to Thomas Atlow, after Unknown artist, after Cornelius Johnson, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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