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Johnny Mack

  • Scholar 2011
  • Alumni
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Ph.D. Law
University of Victoria

    Johnny Mack is Toquaht, of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. He was raised on an Indian Reserve in Nuu-chah-nulth territory, off the West Coast of Vancouver Island. Johnny is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Victoria (Faculty of Law) studying Indigenous legal traditions, Indigenous constitutionalism, subjectivity, critical theory, postcolonial theory and legal pluralism. His doctoral research assesses how the Aboriginal rights and title framework and contemporary treaty negotiations in Canada carry forward the momentum of earlier colonial policies by continuing to dispossess indigenous peoples of their land base and facilitating their reintegrating into the land as liberal democratic Canadians. Those aspects of indigenous political history conflicting with liberal norms of citizenship, democracy and property are deliberately cut back for the purposes of harmonization. He is developing this dissertation under the supervision of Professor James Tully and Professor John Borrows. His LLM thesis, submitted to the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria in 2009 titled Thickening Totems and Thinning Imperialism," provided a critical analysis of the Maa-nulth Treaty Agreement (2007) as a historic and profoundly imperial moment in the history of the Nuu-chah-nulth people.

    Johnny is an impassioned advocate for indigenous peoples on the west coast of Vancouver Island. His involvement has been both formal, as a policy analyst for Aboriginal organizations and informally, as a community activist working to create constructive critical dialogue on the subject of contemporary Treaty negotiations.