Indigeneity in the Courtroom: Law, Culture, and the Production of Difference in North American Courts, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Indigeneity in the Courtroom

Law, Culture, and the Production of Difference in North American Courts, 1st Edition

By Jennifer A. Hamilton


130 pages

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The central question of this book is when and how does indigeneity in its various iterations – cultural, social, political, economic, even genetic – matter in a legal sense? Indigeneity in the Courtroom focuses on the legal deployment of indigenous difference in US and Canadian courts in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Through ethnographic and historical research, Hamilton traces dimensions of indigeneity through close readings of four legal cases, each of which raises important questions about law, culture, and the production of difference. She looks at the realm of law, seeking to understand how indigeneity is legally produced and to apprehend its broader political and economic implications.


"This collection of four essays, each of which probes and details the ways in which indigeneity is produced in court and in the discursive domains surrounding court, is theoretically very sophisticated, provocative, and stimulating. Readers will be rewarded for their close reading of Jennifer Hamilton’s fine scholarship."

-- Political and Legal Anthropology Review, Vol. 32, No. 2, November 2009

"…Indigeneity in the Courtroom is a welcome and useful contribution to this particular area of law and society scholarship." -- Canadian Journal of Law and Society

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Tracking Indigeneity in the Courtroom 2. Banishment: Indigenous Justice and Indigenous Difference in Washington v. Roberts and Guthrie 3. Healing the Bishop: Consent and the Legal Erasure of Colonial History in R. v. O’Connor 4. Resettling Musqueam Park: Property, Culture, and Difference in Glass v. Musqueam Indian Band 5. Of Caucasoids and Kin: Kennewick Man, Race, and Genetic Indigeneity in Bonnichsen v. United States

About the Author

Jennifer A. Hamilton has a PhD in Anthropology from Rice University and has written numerous articles on law, race, indigeneity, and biomedicine.

Currently, Dr. Hamilton is Assistant Professor of Legal Studies and Director of the Law Program at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts.

About the Series

Indigenous Peoples and Politics

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Courts
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Cultural
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General