Kirsten Anker

Associate Professor - On leave

3690 Peel Street 
Room 304
Montreal Quebec
Canada H3A 1W9

514-398-8147 [Office]
kirsten.anker [at] (Email)

Kirsten Anker


Kirsten Anker teaches property, legal theory and Aboriginal law/Indigenous legal traditions, with research interests extending also to evidence, dispute resolution, resource management and legal education. Her book Declarations of Interdependence: A Legal Pluralist Approach to Indigenous Rights explores various aspects of claiming Native (Aboriginal) Title as a way to inspire a re-imagination of law.  She has written widely on the challenge to orthodox understandings of law and sovereignty posed by the recognition in Australia and Canada that Indigenous law “intersects” or co-exists with state law, and draws on studies in legal theory, anthropology, Indigenous and occidental philosophy, translation and language.  Current projects include work on Indigenous legal traditions in formal legal education, non-static digital mapping in land claims, the privatisation of Indigenous consultation, and ecological jurisprudence.


  • Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 2016-
  • Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 2007-2016
  • Visiting Lecturer, London School of Economics Faculty of Law, 2006
  • Boulton Fellow, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 2004
  • Associate Lecturer, Faculty of Law, University of Sydney, 2000-2003
  • Instructor, AUSAID Indonesia/Australia Specialist Training Project in Intellectual Property, Faculty of Law, University of Technology, Sydney, 2000-2001


  • Richard M. Buxbaum Prize for Teaching in Comparative Law, American Society of Comparative Law


  • PhD University of Sydney
  • LLB University of Sydney
  • BSc University of Sydney, Physics

Areas of interest

Property law, Aboriginal peoples and the law, Indigenous jurisprudence, legal theory, legal anthropology/sociology, science studies, law and language

Selected publications


Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • ‘Aboriginal Title and Alternative Cartographies’ (2018) 11(1) Erasmus Law Journal 14-30. See on SSRN.
  • ‘Law As… Forest: Eco-logics, Stories and Spirits in Indigenous Jurisprudence’ (2017) 21 Law Text Culture 191-213. See on SSRN.
  • ‘Reconciliation in Translation: Indigenous Legal Traditions and Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ (2016) 33(1) Windsor Yearbook of Access to Justice 15-43. See on SSRN.
  • ‘Translating Sui Generis Aboriginal Rights and the Civilian Imagination’ in Les intraduisibles en droit civil (Montreal: Thémis, 2014). See on SSRN.
  • ‘Teaching “Indigenous Peoples and the Law”: Whose Law?’ (2008) 33:3 Alternative Law Journal 132. See on SSRN.
  • ‘The Truth in Painting: Cultural Artefacts as Proof of Native Title’ (2005) 9 Law Text Culture 91. Reprinted in Eve Darian-Smith, Laws and Societies in Global Contexts: Contemporary Approaches (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013). See on SSRN.

Books chapters

  • with Mark Antaki, ‘Imagination’ in Karen Crawley, Thomas Giddens and Timothy Peters (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Cultural Legal Studies (London: Routledge forthcoming)
  • with Mark Antaki, ‘The Superfactual Anthropocene and Encounters with Indigenous Legal Traditions’ in Peter Burdon and James Martel (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Law and the Anthropocene (London: Routledge, 2023)
  • ‘Plural Property’ in Nicole Graham, Margaret Davies and Lee Godden (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Property, Law and Society (London: Routledge, 2023)
  • ‘To Be is To Be Entangled: Indigenous Treaty-Making, Relational Legalities and the Ecological Grounds of Law’ in Nico Krisch (ed), Entangled Legalities Beyond the State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021)
  • “Indigenous Law: What non-Indigenous People Can Learn From Indigenous Legal Thought” in Mariana Valverde, Kamari M. Clarke, Eve Darian Smith, and Prabha Kotiswaran (eds), The Routledge Handbook of Law and Society (London: Routledge, 2021)
  • “Ecological Law and Indigenous Relational Ontologies: Beyond the ‘Ecological Indian’?” in Kirsten Anker, Peter Burdon, Geoffrey Garver, Michelle Maloney and Carla Sbert (eds), From Environmental to Ecological Law (London: Routledge, 2021). See on SSRN.
  • “‘Colonialism and Access to a Disenchanted Earth’ in Yaëll Emerich et Laurence Saint-Pierre Harvey (eds), Accès à la terre et enjeux sociaux : précarité, territorialité et identité (Montreal: Thémis, 2019). See on SSRN.
  • ‘Postcolonial Jurisprudence and the Pluralist Turn: From Making Space to Being in Place’ in Nicole Roughan and Andrew Halpin (eds), In Pursuit of Pluralist Jurisprudence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017) (pp.261-293)
  • ‘Law, Culture and Fact in Indigenous Claims: Legal Pluralism as a Problem of Recognition’ in René Provost (ed), Centaur Jurisprudence (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016)
  • ‘Contextualizing Governance’ in Daniel Jutras, Rosalie Jukier and Richard Janda, The Unbounded Level of the Mind: Rod Macdonald’s Legal Imagination (Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, 2015)
  • "Symptoms of Sovereignty? Apologies, Indigenous Rights and Reconciliation in Australia and Canada" in Peer Zumbansen and Ruth Buchanen (eds), Law in Transition: Human Rights, Development and Transitional Justice (Oxford: Hart Publishing, 2014).

Book Reviews

  • ‘Book Review: Aboriginal Title and Indigenous Peoples: Canada, Australia and New Zealand’ (2012) 85 Pacific Affairs 446
  • ‘We, the Nomads: A Review of Lawscape: Property, Environment, Law’ (2011) 7 McGill International Journal of Sustainable Development Law & Policy 233


  • ‘Between a Rock and a Sacred Place: The Limits of Aboriginal Title and Freedom of Religion in Ktunaxa v. BC’ IACL-AIDC Blog (International Association of Constitutional Law) 17 August 2018
  • Special Issue Guest Editor – Signs in and of Place: Indigenous Issues in the Semiotics of Law, (2015) 28(4) International Journal for the Semiotics of Law
  • with Ben Hightower, ‘Introduction: (Re)Imagining Law: Marginalised Bodies/Indigenous Spaces’ (2015) 28(4) International Journal for the Semiotics of Law 1-8
  • Indigenous Legal Traditions and Indian Residential Schools: Law, Sovereignty and Reconciliation in Translation (May 2013) Working Paper prepared for the Canadian Indian Residential Schools Truth and Reconciliation Commission
  • 'Land’ (June 2012) McGill Companion to Law
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