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Law, Aboriginal Guide

Reference Sources

There are two main legal encyclopedias in law: the Canadian Encyclopedic Digest (CED) and Halsbury's Laws of Canada (Halsbury's). Both are available in print in the Law Library in the reference section on the first floor.

Electronically, CED is available in WestlawNext Canada, while Halsbury's is available in Lexis Advance Quicklaw (law students only; non-law UNB/STU use the campus-wide version). Please note that only UNB Law students and faculty have access to WestlawNext Canada and Lexis Advance Quicklaw (except for the campus-wide version available to non-law UNB and STU students and faculty)

Canadian Encyclopedic Digest

In print and electronically, the CED has an Aboriginal Law title available (vol. 1 in print series).

Please make sure you check the currency of these titles in WestlawNext Canada, as some of the CED titles can be years out of date.

Halsbury's Laws of Canada

Both in print and electronically (non-law UNB and STU students and faculty use the campus-wide version), there is an Aboriginal Law title available. The title code for the volume is HAB.

Please check the currency of these titles. This resource provides information from each province in Canada, as well as federally.

Articles & Databases

If you already know the journal title, year, volume number and page number for an article, you may be able to access it electronically by searching for the journal's title in the UNB e-journals database. If we have the journal electronically or in print, it will be listed. You can also look up the journal title in UNB WorldCat.

Keep in mind that it can be best to start with an index rather than a full-text journal search. A few key indexes in law are listed below.

Key Resources

There are other indexes available in print and electronically, as well as more full-text journal databases. See a librarian for assistance. For more resources, please visit the Law Library website.



To search for books at UNB Libraries, use UNB WorldCat, the library's catalogue. UNB WorldCat contains records of materials held at the Harriet Irving, Science and Forestry, Engineering, and Law libraries, as well as the Hans W. Klohn Library at UNB-Saint John.

In UNB WorldCat, items shown as LAW-RESERVE may be requested at the Law Library's circulation desk on the first floor. Items shown as LAW-STACKS are on the Law Library's second floor, arranged by call number.

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If you would like to browse the shelves, the call numbers below house aboriginal law texts:

  • KF8202-KF8228 in stack 213
  • E77-E99 in stack 204

The following texts are in our reserve collection. Bring the book's call number to the circulation desk to check it out for three hours.

The following books are available in the stacks. Please use UNB WorldCat to find more materials.


You can also access a large number of eBooks on law-related subjects through UNB WorldCat. Below are a few databases that have law texts.

  • MyiLibrary
  • eBrary
  • HeinOnline (has some older legal classics)
  • LLMC (has some older legal classics)
  • Quicklaw (has some current texts; open to all UNB and STU students and faculty, but UNB Law students and facutly must sign in with their username and password to access the full Quicklaw package)
  • Lexis Advance Quicklaw (has some current texts; only available to UNB Law students and faculty)
  • WestlawNext Canada (has some current texts; only availble to UNB Law students and faculty)

Government Documents

Government departments and agencies publish a great deal of important law-related information. The Law Library's collection of printed government documents is located on the library's third floor. Use UNB WorldCat to search, or ask a library staff member for help. 

The Harriet Irving Library also has government documents, which can be located through UNB WorldCat.

For government documents that are available online, try using UNB Libraries' Google Custom Search.


National Inquries/TRC

National Inquiries / Truth and Reconciliation

Websites & Blogs

The following websites may be helpful for your research:


  • Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Information System (ATRIS)
    A web-based information system intended to map out the location of Aboriginal communities and display information pertaining to their potential or established Aboriginal or treaty rights.
  • Assembly of First Nations
    Website of the AFN, the national organization representing First Nations in Canada.
  • CBA Aboriginal Law Section
    Information on practice issues, important cases and legislation related to Aboriginal peoples, Aboriginal and treaty rights, land claims, constitutional reform, administration of justice, and traditional Aboriginal law.
  • First Nations Collection (Library and Archives Canada)
    Provides access to a rich selection of resources ranging from databases to virtual displays.
  • First Nation Profiles (Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada)
    A collection of information that describes individual First Nation communities across Canada. The profiles include general information on a First Nation along with more detailed information about its reserve(s), governance, federal funding, geography, registered population statistics, and various Census statistics.
  • Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
    Provides information on obtaining status cards, historic and modern treaties, the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and more.
  • Indigenous Services Canada
    Provides information on access the First Nations and Inuit primary care, public health, and mental health services; programs to support community infrastructure; social programs; and more.
  • National Centre for First Nations Governance
    A non-profit organization that supports First Nations as they develop effective self-governance. Contains an online library with many useful research papers related to Aboriginal law.
  • Standing Committee on Aboriginal Peoples (Senate of Canada)
    With records going back to the 35th Parliament, 1st Session (1994-1996)


  • United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples [PDF-166 KB]
    Describes both individual and collective rights of Indigenous peoples around the world and offers guidance on cooperative relationships with Indigenous peoples to states, the United Nations, and other international organizations based on the principles of equality, partnership, good faith, and mutual respect.

New Brunswick

  • Aboriginal Affairs (New Brunswick)
    Official website of the NB Department of Aboriginal Affairs.
  • Mi'kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre (UNB)
    UNB's Mi'kmaq-Wolastoqey Centre (MWC) provides a learning environment for Indigenous students to develop a strong cultural foundation as well as academic and professional skills, and offers opportunities for all UNB students and faculty to become familiar with Mi'kmaq and Wolastoqey histories, cultures, contributions and treaty rights through principles of respect, sharing, harmony, acceptance and unity in diversity.

Other Provinces

  • Aboriginal Justice (Government of Alberta) Provides information on initiatives and programs currently underway in Alberta, as well as other topics of interest regarding Aboriginal justice.
  • BC Consultative Areas Database
    An interactive mapping tool that allows the general public, industry, other levels of government and First Nations to identify First Nations who have treaty rights or asserted or proven rights or title on the land base queried.
  • First Nations Negotiations (Ministry of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation, British Columbia)
    General information about treaties, status of treaty negotiations under B.C. Treaty Commission process, and links to relevant pages and documents available from Ministry website.
  • Ministry of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation (Province of British Columbia)
    The Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation leads the Province of British Columbia in reconciliation efforts with First Nations and Aboriginal peoples.
  • Native Law Centre (University of Saskatchewan)
    Provides legal reference and scholarly materials that reflect a wide range of Aboriginal legal and interdisciplinary legal subjects.
  • Office of the Treaty Commissioner (Province of Saskatchewan) Contains links and information on treaties in Saskatchewan


  • American Indian Legal Materials Interactive Map
    Legal and other materials on Indigenous American tribes sorted on an interactive map as well as listed alphabetically by state. Sources include consitutions, bylaws, ordinances and websites. Provided by the Library of Congress.
  • Native American Rights Fund
    Founded in 1970, the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) is the oldest and largest nonprofit law firm dedicated to asserting and defending the rights of Indian tribes, organizations and individuals nationwide. NARF's practice is concentrated in five key areas: the preservation of tribal existence; the protection of tribal natural resources; the promotion of Native American human rights; the accountability of governments to Native Americans; and the development of Indian law and educating the public about Indian rights, laws, and issues.
  • National Indian Law Library
    A law library devoted to American Indian law. It serves both the Native American Rights Fund (NARF) and the public. NILL provides access to a valuable collection of Indian law resources and provides direct research assistance and delivery of information. Includes bulletins of new cases and articles regarding Native Americans.

Blogs and News

There are many blogs maintained by lawyers and law firms, and you can find many of them at The following are a few blogs that might be helpful for aboriginal law research:

  • First Peoples Law
    Aboriginal law news and analysis from First Peoples Law, a firm focused on defending and advancing Aboriginal title, Aboriginal rights, and treaty rights for Indigenous peoples across Canada.
  • Indigenous Law Blog
    Provides updates on legal issues that relate to Indigenous peoples as well as Aboriginal and treaty rights.
  • Native Law Centre Blog
    Case summaries and comments from the University of Saskatchewan's Native Law Centre.
  • OKT Aboriginal Rights Lawyers Blog
    News and analysis from Olthuis Kleer Townshend (OKT), a firm focused on Aboriginal law.

Cases & Legislation

Key Resources

The following databases and websites provide access to federal and provincial cases and legislation.


The following federal statutes are related to aboriginal law in Canada.

Cases and Decisions

Along with searching the databases mentioned above, one can use other products to find case law:

  • Canadian Abridgment Digests
    A digest service that indexes cases by subject. This is an extremely useful resource. There is an Aboriginal Law volume available in print (vol 1) and electronically in WestlawNext Canada (UNB Law students and faculty only).
  • Canada Digest
    A digest service similar to the Canadian Abridgment. Useful titles include Canada Aboriginal Law Digest. It is available electronically through Lexis Advance Quicklaw (law students only; non-law UNB/STU use the campus-wide version).
  • LexisNexis Aboriginal Law Netletter
    A monthly current awareness service that provides short summaries of significant new Canadian decisions on aboriginal law that have been added to Quicklaw. It is available electronically through Lexis Advance Quicklaw (law students only; non-law UNB/STU use the campus-wide version).
  • Case Reporters
    If you wish to browse the print reporters, we have some topical law reports dealing with aboriginal law on the second floor. Note: much of this content is retrospective. For current cases/decisions, please use electronic databases when available.
    For Canadian cases on labour law, try: 


To find Aboriginal treaties available in UNB's holdings, search UNB WorldCat. Many treaties are available electronically or in print in the law library.

You can also find transcripts of treaties via Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada's Treaty Texts page. This site includes treaties from the mid-1700's to the early 1900's. The treaty texts have been formatted and clearly typed for easy reading and printing (note: not all treaties have been transcribed due to the absence of the original source document).

To view scans of the original treaty documents, visit Library and Archives Canada's Treaties, Surrenders and Agreements database.

Citing Your Sources

Accurate, properly formatted footnotes, reading lists, and bibliographies are hallmarks of good academic research. Through citing, you acknowledge the source of any ideas you mention in your writing, document your research, and provide the information your readers need to track down your sources. Numerous citation styles exist.

The citation style used by lawyers and law students for Canadian legal materials is:

There is no online version of this guide at the present time; however, the University of British Columbia Law Library has put together a legal citations subject guide, which is available freely on the internet.

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