The Wetiko Legal Principles: Cree and Anishinabek Responses to Violence and Victimization

By Hadley Friedland
Foreword by John Borrows

© 2018

In Algonquian folklore, the wetiko is a cannibal monster or spirit that possesses a person, rendering them monstrous. In The Wetiko Legal Principles, Hadley Friedland explores how the concept of a wetiko can be used to address the unspeakable happenings that endanger the lives of many Indigenous children.

Friedland critically analyses Cree and Anishinabek stories and oral histories alongside current academic and legal literature to find solutions to the frightening rates of intimate violence and child victimization in Indigenous communities. She applies common-law legal analysis to these Indigenous stories and creates a framework for analysing stories in terms of the legal principles that they contain. The author reveals similarities in thinking and theorizing around the dynamics of wetikos and offenders in cases of child sexual victimization. Friedland’s respectful, strength-based, trauma-informed approach builds on the work of John Borrows and is the first to argue for a legal category derived from Indigenous legal traditions. The Wetiko Legal Principles provides much needed direction for effectively applying Indigenous legal principles to contemporary social issues.

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Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
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SKU# SP004805

  • PUBLISHED FEB 2018

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    Regular Price: $24.95

    ISBN 9781487522025
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  • PUBLISHED MAR 2018

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    Regular Price: $24.95

Quick Overview

In The Wetiko Legal Principles, Hadley Friedland explores how the concept of a wetiko can be used to address the unspeakable happenings that endanger the lives of many Indigenous children.

The Wetiko Legal Principles: Cree and Anishinabek Responses to Violence and Victimization

By Hadley Friedland
Foreword by John Borrows

© 2018

In Algonquian folklore, the wetiko is a cannibal monster or spirit that possesses a person, rendering them monstrous. In The Wetiko Legal Principles, Hadley Friedland explores how the concept of a wetiko can be used to address the unspeakable happenings that endanger the lives of many Indigenous children.

Friedland critically analyses Cree and Anishinabek stories and oral histories alongside current academic and legal literature to find solutions to the frightening rates of intimate violence and child victimization in Indigenous communities. She applies common-law legal analysis to these Indigenous stories and creates a framework for analysing stories in terms of the legal principles that they contain. The author reveals similarities in thinking and theorizing around the dynamics of wetikos and offenders in cases of child sexual victimization. Friedland’s respectful, strength-based, trauma-informed approach builds on the work of John Borrows and is the first to argue for a legal category derived from Indigenous legal traditions. The Wetiko Legal Principles provides much needed direction for effectively applying Indigenous legal principles to contemporary social issues.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Division: Scholarly Publishing
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 144 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    "The Wetiko Legal Principles is an important contribution to both legal scholarship and the field of child protection today. The unflinching question Hadley Louise Friedland asks is, ‘How do we protect those we love from those we love?’ Her response is powerful, wise, and practical, informed by a deep understanding of Cree and Anishinabek law and the use of oral histories. Everyone should read this book. It will change how people think about and engage with Indigenous law."


    Val Napoleon, Law Foundation Chair of Aboriginal Justice and Governance, and Provost’s Community Engaged Scholar, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria

    "Hadley Louise Friedland does a masterful job of identifying important Cree and Anishinabek legal principles that can be applied to combat community and domestic violence through an unprecedented study of the laws of the wetiko. Friedland has a rare scholarly gift in presenting challenging legal concepts in an unassuming and accessible manner for all readers, regardless of their level of familiarity with the topic. In a highly engaging and thought-provoking manner, Friedland demonstrates the modern relevance of ancient Indigenous wisdom and law for today’s social problems. Remarkable!"


    Larry Chartrand, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
  • Author Information

    Hadley Louise Friedland is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta. She was the first Research Director of the University of Victoria’s Indigenous Law Research Unit.
  • Table of contents

    Story #1: Sweet Dirt

    Chapter 1: Introduction and Methodology

    Chapter 2: The Wetiko as a Legal Concept or Category

    Chapter 3: Understanding the Dynamics: The Wetiko and Child Victimization

    Chapter 4: The Wetiko Legal Principles

    Chapter 5: Future Directions in Wetiko Law

    Story #2: Beyond Sweet Dirt

    Bibliography