Professor Aimée Craft has been awarded a University Research Chair (URC) for her research program on Nibi miinawaa aki inaakonigewin – Indigenous governance in relation to land and water. The Chair will support her continued work on Indigenous water law, policy, and sustainability; the reclamation of Indigenous birthing practices as catalysts for wellness and the re-affirmation of territorial sovereignty; and the recognition of Indigenous understandings of treaties as part of the Canadian reconciliation imperative.
Professor Craft is widely recognized for her research on Indigenous laws, treaties, and water. Her work centers on interdisciplinary, land-based and community-led research that is grounded in partnerships and inter-generational knowledge transmission. Her recent scholarship has primarily focused on the philosophical underpinnings of Anishinaabe inaakonigewin (law) and Indigenous legal orders more generally. This research has implications in relation to health, social policy, Indigenous resurgence, political discourse, resource management, and administrative and judicial decision-making. Overall, Professor Craft’s priority in research is the equal valuation and recognition of Indigenous forms of knowledge through the application of Indigenous methods, language, development of community relationships, collaborative research, and creating opportunities for community and youth involvement in research. Professor Craft engages in extensive knowledge mobilization initiatives to ensure that her work is accessible to other Indigenous communities, governments, industry and the general public.
Earlier this year, Professor Craft was awarded the Canadian Bar Association’s President’s Award, recognizing her significant contribution to the legal profession and to the public life of Canada. She was also recently awarded the University of Ottawa’s 2020 Early Career Researcher of the Year Award in the humanities, social sciences, fine arts and literature category. And in March, Professor Craft published her first children’s book, Treaty Words For As Long As the Rivers Flow, which affirms the importance of understanding an Indigenous perspective on treaties.
University Research Chairs are given to the University of Ottawa’s best researchers in recognition of their outstanding and continuous accomplishments in research as well as the training of students. Professor Craft’s URC has been awarded for an initial five-year term, which began on May 1, 2021.
Congratulations to Professor Craft on this well-deserved recognition! The Common Law Section wishes her continued success in the realization of her important research program.