Beyond Gladue

Addressing Indigenous Alienation from the Justice System in Civil Litigation

  • Jon Peters


In 1999, the Supreme Court of Canada’s seminal decision R v Gladue enunciated principles that recognized systemic bias and inter-generational trauma leading to the overrepresentation of Indigenous Peoples in incarcerated populations. Now, nearly a quarter century later, long- evolving efforts to meaningfully include Indigenous Peoples within colonial legal systems have focused primarily on Indigenous Peoples’ interactions with the criminal justice system. Such efforts have yet to meaningfully reconcile Indigenous legal orders with Canada’s civil justice system. This paper surveys the historical development of Canada’s judicial approaches to reconciliation, and within that context, posits applications of Gladue principles to contemporary civil litigation.