John Borrows

John Borrows is a leading scholar in the field of indigenous legal traditions and aboriginal rights.

John Borrows is the Law Foundation Chair in Aboriginal Justice and Governance at the Faculty of Law of the University of Victoria. He is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of Indigenous Legal Traditions and Aboriginal Rights. He is Anishinabe and a member of the Chippewas of the Nations First Nation on Georgian Bay.
Professor Borrows has been at the forefront of Indigenous legal education initiatives in Canada, having developed programs of research and teaching at the University of Toronto, Osgoode Hall Law School at York University, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Victoria. He has also furthered his work in the field as a Visiting Professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia, Waikato University in New Zealand, Arizona State University in the United States, the Native Law Centre at the University of Saskatchewan and Akitsiraq Law School of the University of Victoria in Nunavut. Most recently, he served as the Visiting Scholar in Residence with the Law Commission of Canada, writing a book about Indigenous Legal Traditions in Canada. His publications include Aboriginal Legal Issues: Cases, Materials and Commentary (Butterworths, 1998) and Recovering Canada: The Resurgence of Indigenous Law (University of Toronto Press, 2002).
Professor Borrows is a recipient of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award in the area of Law and Justice, the Donald Smiley Award for the best book in Canadian Political Science in 2003, the International Visiting Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies, and the New Zealand Law Foundation Fellowship. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
John Borrows obtained his Bachelor, two Masters degrees, a Bachelor in Law and a Masters in Law from the University of Toronto; he is Doctor Juris from Osgoode Law School.

  • May 31, 2017
    Each year, the Canadian Political Science Association awards the Donald Smiley Prize to the best book published in English or French relating to the study of government and politics in Canada.
  • May 2, 2017
    Each year, the Canada Council for the Arts’ Killam prizes recognize the career achievements of eminent Canadian scholars and scientists actively engaged in research, whether in industry, government agencies or universities. 2006 fellow John Borrows is this year’s winner in the social sciences category.
  • May 23, 2014
    Trudeau Scholar 2006 John Borrows was awarded an honorary doctorate by Dalhousie University during a ceremony that was held on May 23, 2014. To listen to his convocation that starts at 1:34:40 on webcast, click on the following link:
  • July 28, 2011
    John Borrows, Robina Chair in Law, Public Policy and Society at Minnesota Law School