Questions about Questions: Law and Film Reflections on the Duty to Learn




Law and Film, Indigenous Legal Orders, Inuit


In 2015, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission concluded that reconciliation will require new relationships between Canadian and Indigenous legal orders. How are legal professionals to participate in making these new relationships? How might lawyers engage productively with the many different Indigenous legal orders in this land? The article takes up challenges of Reconciliation and the Duty to Learn, with a focus on the place of questions in the process of learning. Stories are one important location for this work. Reflecting on the course Law 343: Inuit Law and Film, I offer some thoughts on cinematic stories as a particularly productive site for legal thinking, with a focus on the place of questions as a technique for building understanding and relationship across difference. Using the film The Journals of Knud Rasmussen (2006), I explore six different questions, and consider the kind of work that one can do with each question. This approach invites us to consider the relations we build through the questions we ask, not of others, but of ourselves. I close with some reflections about steps one might take to act on the obligation to learn, taking up the work of questions in our practices of building relations across legal orders.

Author Biography

Rebecca Johnson, University of Victoria

... Professor and Associate Director, Indigenous Law Research Unit, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria.






Research Articles