James (Sa'ke'j) Youngblood Henderson

James (Sákéj) Youngblood Henderson is an internationally and national recognized authority in Indigenous knowledge, heritage, and jurisprudence, constitutional rights, and human rights. He is a member of the Chickasaw Nation and Cheyenne Nation. He is the research director of the Native Law Centre of Canada and teaches Aboriginal law at the College of Law, University of Saskatchewan. He is married to Marie Battise, a Mi’kmaw educator. He received a Juris Doctorate in Law from Harvard Law School (1974). He served as a constitutional advisor for the Mi’kmaw Nation and the Assembly of First Nations (1978-1983). He advocates for uniting treaty federalism with provincial federalism to create a shared rule, democracy, and government in Canada in his article entitled “Empowering Treaty Federalism” (Saskatchewan Law Review (1994) volume 58). The rigour and unassuming eloquence of his award winning books are on Mi’kmaq Concordat, Aboriginal Tenure in the Constitution of Canada, Treaty Rights in the Constitution of Canada, and First Nations Jurisprudence and Aboriginal Rights. He was one of the strategists that created Indigenous diplomacy, working through the Four Direction Council, an NGO, in the UN system and part of the drafting team of many of the existing documents, especially the ILO Convention Concerning Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries (1991), the Guidelines and Principles for the Protection of Indigenous Heritage (1994-2001), and the UN Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007). His other books include Indigenous Diplomacy and the Rights of Peoples: Achieving UN Recognition and the award winning Protecting Indigenous Knowledge and Heritage: A Global Challenge that he co-authored with Marie Battiste. He has been an Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (2003-1997) and the UNESCO Convention of Cultural Diversity. Between 2000  and 2010, he was a member of the Canadian Commission to UNESCO. His achievements in international and national law have been recognized by the awarding of Indigenous Peoples’ Counsel (2005), a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Law and Justice (2006), an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from Carlton University (2007) and was recently named as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (2013).

Added to Archives 2014