March 16: Panel Discussion Robert Clifford and Jocelyn Stacey

Mar 16, 2023
  • 1-3pm
  • Location:
    Peter Wall Institute
    Seminar Room (Room 307)
    6331 Crescent Road, UBC

The Wall Catalyst Emeriti cohort meet monthly to share research experience and engage with guest lecturers on the topic of the “Climate and Nature Emergency”. These lectures and panel sessions are hosted at the Institute and will be open to the public as well as available over Zoom in the months ahead.

More information available on the UBC Emeritus College website.

The Panel Discussion will be moderated by Jo-ann Archibald Q’um Q’um Xiiem, Professor Emeritus, Educational Studies, Faculty of Education, UBC

Robert Clifford, Peter A. Allard School of Law, UBC

Robert Clifford is W̱SÁNEĆ and a member of the Tsawout First Nation on Vancouver Island. He
carries the name YEL.ÁTTE, passed to him by his late grandfather, Earl Claxton Sr. He lives and
writes in his home community of Tsawout. His work engages the resurgence of W̱SÁNEĆ laws and
seeks to relate the ways in which those laws reflect and generate out of the values, philosophies,
lands, and worldviews of his people. His work is community focused and draws upon W̱SÁNEĆ law in
relation to pressing problems throughout W̱SÁNEĆ territory.

The Old People are the Song, and we are Their Echo: WSÁNEC Law Revitalization and Climate Crisis

Grounded in my own W̱SÁNEĆ legal order, I provide an accounting of the context in which the resurgence of W̱SÁNEĆ law is occurring, and clarity regarding what we hope to accomplish with the revitalization of W̱SÁNEĆ (and more broadly, Indigenous) law, both locally and in response to global climate crisis. Doing so prompts questioning of the very foundations of Canadian constitutionalism, and indeed, our most basic ideologies and conceptualizations of our place and relationships within the world. From a position that our theory and methodology of Indigenous law revitalization, and our diagnosis and approaches to the climate crisis must be intricately entwined and mutually reflective, the dissertation sets out to argue that nothing short of a fundamental reimagining of our relationships within the world, and thus the social, legal, political, and economic structures those relational understandings condition, is required. For example, I offer a critique of capitalism not simply as an economic system, but as a way of understanding and organizing our relationships and place within the world.

Jocelyn Stacey, Peter A. Allard School of Law, UBC

Jocelyn Stacey is an associate professor at the Peter A. Allard School of Law, University of British Columbia, xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Traditional Territory. She researches environmental crises and the visible and invisible ways in which law creates, regulates and prevents these events. Her work focuses on environmental assessment law, disaster law, climate change, emergency powers and the rule of law. Her current research project, The Law of Disaster Exceptionalism, investigates how law regulates disasters as disconnected and exceptional events, contrary to the experiences of those made most vulnerable to disaster and in spite of our current era of climate disruption.

Prof. Stacey works closely with BC First Nations, advancing the implementation of First Nations’ inherent jurisdiction through and beyond disaster. With the Tŝilhqot’in National Government, she has co-authored two reports on Tŝilhqot’in jurisdiction in the 2017 wildfires and the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.