In considering the nexus between law, religion, and settler colonialism I consider a case in which an Indigenous freedom of religion claim under section 2(a) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms was ruled by the majority of Supreme Court of Canada as not being a valid freedom of religion claim. In examining this decision, I will construct an analytical framework by which I will examine the decision in a way that considers the legal system in which it occurs, that legal system’s culture, and the relevance of land in this case. Using this analytical framework, I will tease out why the Ktunaxa decision occurred in the way that it did, drawing on the discourse of both the majority and concurring arguments. I argue that the Court restricting what may validly be claimed as an infringement on the Charter’s guarantee to freedom of religion is an example of continuing settler colonialism that occurs within a political culture that, superficially, places great emphasis on reconciliation with the Indigenous peoples that reside within its political-geographical confines.
Zukowski, Christian J.
"Law's Racism: The Perpetuation of Settler Colonialism in Ktunaxa v. British Columbia,"
Gettysburg Social Sciences Review: Vol. 4:
1, Article 4.
Available at: https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/gssr/vol4/iss1/4
Political Science Commons, Religion Law Commons, Social Control, Law, Crime, and Deviance Commons