∑ Features of aboriginal legal tradition
∑ Rejection of formality in the expression of law.
∑ Transmission through the dynamic process of education, in daily life.
∑ No complex institutions.
∑ Dissent and possibility to exit.
∑ Council of elders.
∑ Informal dispute resolution systems
∑ Family law: informality. Marriage and divorce are generally consensual.
Relationship with land
∑ Life close to the land and in harmony.
∑ No property or dominion over the land.
∑ Communal or collective enjoyment of land.
∑ No rights
∑ Crime: responsibility of the whole society
∑ Injury to a member is an injury to the group.
∑ Injury caused by a member was the responsibility of the group.
∑ Reparation by negotiation between groups and by means of payment or equivalent punishment.
∑ Absent negotiated agreement, blood feud.
∑ Crime a serious social wound
∑ Objective: the restoration of the community.
∑ Sentencing circle.
Devine legal tradition
∑ Religion: a constant presence
∑ Absence of formal structures
∑ Natural world is the best embodiment of religion.
∑ The natural world is sacred.
∑ Intergenerational equity
Contemporary Chtonic topics
∑ Environmental debate
∑ Legal relations between human beings and land
∑ Recognition of multiple forms of ownership and use of land
∑ Criminal law: chtonic people donít have prisons and the Cree, e.g., donít even have a word for guilt. Yet, Chtonic people are the principal occupants of prisons.
Canadian law and Aborinal tradition
The existing aboriginal and treaty rights of the aboriginal peoples of Canada (including land claims agreements) are hereby recognized and affirmed.