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
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.
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).
Beyond the Blog
Read John Burrow's list of publications.