Rebuilding Our Law
Our laws are embedded in our stories. Our stories connect us to the land and to each other across generations.
Connecting us to the social and intellectual lives of our ancestors, our stories reveal how they related to the world from within their own experience, history and traditions. Stories help us identify and examine cultural norms and values that have guided relationships and behaviours throughout the generations. Our stories tell us how to live and help us make sense of the world from within Dene and Cree ways of being. Our stories contain our law.
Since 2016, FNFN has been working to rebuild Indigenous laws for land and water governance in our territory, beginning with the RELAW project and continuing today.
Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air & Water (RELAW)
In 2016 FNFN collected Dene and Cree stories from community members as part of the Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air & Water (RELAW) project supported by West Coast Environmental Law and the University of Victoria. Interviews with community members were analyzed to draw out foundational legal principles from the stories. The principles highlighted in this analysis support FNFN policy development and intergovernmental negotiations. The RELAW project specifically focuses on Indigenous laws related to lands and waters, and this process of analyzing Dene and Cree stories set the foundation for further work in rebuilding Dene and Cree law in our lands and lives.