Andrée Boisselle

Current affiliation:
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, York University

Andrée is an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Law at York University and a doctoral candidate at the University of Victoria.

Making Room for Indigenous Law in Canada: Towards a Reconception of Western Legal Theory

Andrée's work in comparative constitutional law seeks to reconceive Western legal theory by bringing the conception of law manifest in the mainstream Canadian legal order into dialogue with a First Nations' conception of law. Her project, involving fieldwork with the Stó:lõ people, a Coast Salish Nation from southern British Columbia, speaks to the conceptual conditions of a truly legitimate, dialogic legal order in our country.

After earning a Bachelor's in Civil Law and Common Law at McGill University, Andrée Boisselle practised civil and commercial litigation in Montreal before pursuing her education at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Law. Her Master's thesis, examining the duty of the Crown to consult Aboriginal peoples, received the Quebec Law Professors' Association Prize.
With her doctorate, Andrée wants to deepen the reflection on the implications of a true dialogue with First Nations, both in the practical sense, in relation to Canadian law, and at a wider theoretical level encompassing the Western conception of Law as a whole. To move away from the current colonial system toward a truly respectful relationship with Indigenous peoples, she argues that we must cease demanding that they recraft their legal orders using the terms, forms and categories of the Western traditions, but that we rather seek, within both sets of legal traditions, the resources that will enable each to be understood on its own terms.
Andrée's research will bring her to work with the Stó:lõ First Nation of British Columbia, to try to understand their conception of Law as reflected in their myths, narratives and legal institutions. She will then explore the philosophical, ethical and spiritual sources of Western legal traditions to suggest ways in which these traditions can enter into a real exchange with the Stó:lõ tradition and other related Indigenous traditions.