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Legitimus nears completion

Published on:15 July at 10:00PM
Author: Canada Research Chair on Legal Diversity and Indigenous Peoples


On June 17, 18, 19, 2019, about 40 researchers from 8 different countries around the world met at the University of Ottawa. The subject: « The State and Indigenous Legal Cultures: Reform and Innovation in the Management of Legal Pluralism ». This ultimate team meeting of the Legitimus project : « The State and Indigenous Legal Cultures : Law in Search of Legitimacy », directed by Professor Ghislain Otis and financed by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, represents another step forward a peaceful relationship between the legal traditions.

Started more than 5 years ago, the Legitimus project aims to achieve a better comprehension of the indigenous legal systems and the challenges of their coexistence with state systems. His director, Ghislain Otis, was able to benefit of the presence of indigenous and non-indigenous collaborators, researchers and partners from around the world. During this final meeting of the project, the researchers presented their projects based on four themes: land, family, conflicts treatment and integration projects, and then conclude with the project outcomes and further perspectives.


« Cette rencontre finale fut l’occasion de mesurer les acquis de travaux entamés il y a plus de 5 ans avec des chercheurs de plusieurs continents sur le défi du pluralisme juridique en contexte autochtone et coutumier. » (Trans.: This ultimate team meeting was the occasion to measure the achievements of works started more than 5 years ago with researchers from many continents, on the challenge of legal pluralism in traditional and indigenous context.)

Ghislain Otis, Professor at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Canada Research Chair on Legal Diversity and Indigenous Peoples.

From Côte d’Ivoire, to New Caledonia, as well as France and Canada, here are some quotes heard during this ultimate meeting:


« Ce colloque est d’une importance capitale parce qu’il parle de cohésion et d’amour. »

(Trans.: This conference is of paramount importance because it talks about cohesion and love.)

Digbeu Zobre, chef des terres de Soubré (Côte-d’Ivoire)


« Une nation, c’est un territoire, un peuple. »

(Trans.: A Nation is a territory, a people.)

Raphaël Mapou, Conseil national pour les droits du peuple autochtone Kanaky-Nouvelle-Calédonie (New Caledonia)


« Sans écrits, il n’y a pas de passage aux témoins. »

(Trans.: Without written records, there is no information passing to others.)

Fabrice Hourquebie, Université de Bordeaux, CERCCLE (France)



« If you can’t imagine something, it won’t exist. »  

Val Napoleon, University of Victoria (Canada)


« Ce qui n’est pas écrit n’existe pas. »

(Trans.: What is not written does not exist.)

Nadine Vollant, Uauitshitun – Uashat mak Mani-utenam (Canada)



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