Skip to main content
Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota & Author

empty
Portarit of John Burrows
When he left home John's family insisted he keep learning, and receive as much education as he could obtain

John recently presented a free talk sponsored by Simon Fraser University President Andrew Petter’s office on his newest work Physical Philosophy: Freedom and Indigenous Peoples

History

John Borrows is from Anishinaabe from the Chippewas of the Nawash First Nation on the shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario. From a young age he was taught the importance of education and learning. His grandfather used to tell him that our minds are like parachutes, they work best when they're open. Sitting around kitchen tables with his aunts, uncles, cousins, mother and grandparents was often like being in an advanced academic seminar. Time after time the talk would range through philosophy, geology, history, religion, political science and law. The ideas were usually big and they were generously mixed with
teasing, wild speculation, humour and tears.

Education

When he left home John's family insisted he keep learning, and receive as much education as he could obtain. Again, his grandfather's counsel loomed large: "Education is easy to carry around with you, get all you can". John went to school at the University of Toronto, receiving four degrees there, before going to Osgoode Hall at York University for his PhD. His dissertation examined Anishinaabe treaties around the Great Lakes.

Education & Career

Since graduating John has been a Professor at the Universities of British Columbia, Toronto, Victoria, and York University in Canada, as well as a visiting professor at Princeton University, Arizona State University, Brigham Young University, Waikato, and the University of New South Wales. He is currently Robina Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota Law School. His books are Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law; Canada's Indigenous Constitution; Drawing Out Law (all published with the University of Toronto Press) and Aboriginal Legal Issues: Cases, Materials and Commentary (published by Butterworth's with Len Rotman).

Professor of Law at the University of Minnesota & Author

You Might Like These... Indigenous, Professional Associations, Career Exploration, Community Engagement

Fraser health banner
Fraser Health Focuses On Increasing Aboriginal Employee Base

Join our organization to help narrow the health gap between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal patients and residents by providing a better cultural fit within Fraser Health. 

Picture of the mountains and rivers
A Beginning

Marilyn Brennan shares her experiences and adventures while working on a Co-op term for Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research Department (TARR) at Fort St. John. In Part 1 - A Beginning, Marilyn reflects the challenges arriving in a new city to begin her Co-op term.

Trees near a river
Adventures

Marilyn Brennan shares her experiences and adventures while working on a Co-op term for Treaty and Aboriginal Rights Research Department (TARR) at Fort St. John. In Part 2 - Adventures, Marilyn shares with us her first work-related road trip to Doig River First Nation.

You Might Like These... Career Exploration

The olympic torch
Olympic Sized Persistence Pays Off

If there’s someone who knows about the terrifying journey that is the work search, it is Marissa Nahanee. She worked on many world class events, including the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Torch relay and visits by Princes Charles and Edward. But Marissa’s job did not just happen to her - she had to work for it.

Portrait of Alissa
Why Volunteer in the Aboriginal Community?

Alissa volunteers because she want to receive experience relating to areas of her studies in Criminology and her to fulfill her passion to help First Nations communities. Each of these organizations allows her to engage with Urban Aboriginal people. Learn more about her experiences.

FNSA logo
Student Association 2012-2013: A Year in Review

Have you ever asked yourself "Who are the FNSA and what exactly do they do here on campus?" Here is a year in review to enable you to gain a better understanding of this student run organization and what they do here at SFU.