Naiomi Metallic

Assistant Professor of Law; Chancellor's Chair in Aboriginal Law and Policy


Related information

SSRN page
• CV [PDF -867 kB]

Phone: 902-494-4500
Mailing Address: 
Room 314, Weldon Law Building, Dalhousie University 6061 University Avenue Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Aboriginal law
  • Indigenous law
  • Constitutional law
  • Administrative law
  • Equality and human rights law
  • Diversity in legal education, the legal profession, and the judiciary


  • BA (Dalhousie)
  • LLB (Dalhousie)
  • LLL (Ottawa)
  • LLM (Osgoode)

Bar admission

  • Nova Scotia, 2008

Work experience

  • Law clerk, Supreme Court of Canada
  • Lawyer, Burchells LLP, Halifax


I hail from the Listuguj Mi’gmaq First Nation located on the Gaspé Coast of Quebec, known as the Gespegewagi district of Mi’kma’ki. I speak English, French and a little Mi’gmaq (it is a life goal of mine to become more fluent). After nearly 10 years of a very rewarding practice in Aboriginal law, I decided to make the move to academia to continue my work for First Nations in a different way — through teaching, writing, and speaking about the issues facing Aboriginal peoples in Canada and how the law can be a tool for reconciliation and improving the lives of Indigenous peoples. 


  • Constitutional Law (LAWS 2062)
  • Issues in Indigenous Governance (with MacIntosh C.) (LAWS 2270)
  • Aboriginal Peoples and the Law (LAWS 2120)
  • Kawaskimhon Aboriginal Rights Moot (LAWS 2206)

Areas of supervision: All areas of Aboriginal law and policy

Research interests

Above all, I am interested in how the law can be harnessed to promote the well-being of Indigenous peoples in Canada. I approach this issue from multiple angles, from constitutional to administrative law, international law to equality law and human rights codes, to Indian Act Band Council bylaw powers. Although some advances have been made since the recognition of Aboriginal and Treaty rights in s. 35 of the Constitution Act in 1982, there is still much work to be done.

Indigenous peoples in Canada remain at the bottom of virtually every socio-economic statistic in this country and continue to face discrimination and systemic racism on a regular basis. As legal practitioners and scholars who are concerned about the situation of Indigenous peoples in this country, we have the responsibility to think about the problems facing Indigenous groups in Canada in innovative ways and to convey our ideas in ways that are accessible to the communities they are intended to serve.

Selected publications

  • “Indian Act By-Laws: A Viable means for First Nations to (Re)Assert Control over Local Matters Now and Not Later” (2016) 67 UNBLJ 211

(a)   Book and book chapters (peer reviewed where indicated)

  • “Realizing Administrative Aboriginal Law” in Administrative Law in Context, 3rd ed., Chap. 3 (Emond Publishing: Toronto, 2017) (with Janna Promislow)
  • “Becoming a Language Warrior” in Marie Battiste, ed, Living Treaties – Narrating Mi’kmaq Treaty Relations (Sydney: Cape Breton University Press, 2016)
  • “Les droits linguistiques des peuples autochtones” - Chapter in M. Bastarache et al., Les droits linguistiques au Canada, 3e édition (Les Éditions Yvon Blais, 2013) 
  • The Law of Bilingual Interpretation - Butterworths (Canada) Limited, 2008, co-author with Justice Michel Bastarache, Regan Morris and Chris Essert

(b)   Edited Collections (peer reviewed where indicated)

  • “The Relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples – Where are We?” forthcoming in Law Society of Upper Canada Special Lectures 2017 – Canada at 150: The Charter and the Constitution (Irwin Law: 2018)
  • “Ending Piecemeal Recognition of Indigenous Nationhood and Jurisdiction: Returning RCAP’s Aboriginal Nation Recognition and Government Act” in Redefining Relationships: Indigenous Peoples and Canada (forthcoming in Saskatoon: Native Law Center, 2018).  Peer Reviewed

Service & activity

  • Council of Canadian Academies Expert Panel on Policing on Indigenous Communities (January 2017 to present) – Member
  • Dalhousie University’s Indigenous Advisory Council (Fall 2016 to present)
  • Indigenous Bar Association (Fall 2017 to present) – Board Member
  • Listuguj Aboqonmadultinech Community Foundation (2014 to present) – Founding Director
  • Nova Scotia Judicial Appointments Committee (Federal) (2017 to present)
  • Schulich School of Law, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Committee (2016 to present) – Co-chair