Residential Schools, Respect, and Responsibilities for Past Harms




Borrows, John

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University of Toronto Law Journal


It is difficult to accept the idea that we may be responsible for harms caused by other people. This article acknowledges challenges faced in this regard in relation to so-called responsibilities for harms suffered by Indigenous peoples in Residential Schools. Recognizing that there are real issues with the scope, cost, fairness, and appropriateness of ways of addressing these harms, this article discusses the role of Indigenous legal and political traditions in discussing this issue. It suggests that we can find more nuanced, subtle, and respectfully engaged ways of listening and responding to one another when the considering responsibilities we may or may not have to our fellow citizens.



Aboriginal, Reconciliation, Customary Law, Harm, Responsibility


Borrows, J. (2014). Residential schools, respect, and responsibilities for past harms. University of Toronto Law Journal, 64(4), 486-504.