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Against the Odds: The Indigenous Rights Cases of Thomas R. Berger (True Cases)

Against the Odds: The Indigenous Rights Cases of Thomas R. Berger (True Cases)

Current price: $32.50
Publication Date: September 1st, 2024


Thomas Berger's earliest cases astonished the legal community by asserting Indigenous rights that had not been considered previously by Canadian courts. The success of these cases, over only a decade, encouraged First Nations across Canada to take a more assertive stance in the years that followed. Mid-career, Justice Thomas Berger accepted the challenge of leading the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline Inquiry. He organized the inquiry to give northern First Nations an equal voice in the proceedings by holding thirty community hearings in which all were invited to participate. Berger's careful, reasoned arguments prevailed time after time. His Indigenous cases pushed the margins of the legal debate: they demanded that governments take greater accountability for honouring their commitments to Indigenous communities. Thomas Berger's principal gift was to see the law not as a rigid, inflexible structure, but as a framework that could adapt to different circumstances through changing times.

About the Author

Drew Ann Wake, Writer and Director Drew Ann Wake is a film maker and new media artist who began her career with CBC North and the National Film Board in Yellowknife, NWT. She covered the Berger Inquiry from 1975-77 and then worked on the independent documentary, The Inquiry Film, which won the Canadian Film Festival award for Best Documentary. Since 1983, she has created twenty interactive new media productions which havebeen installed in museums and art galleries in Europe, the US and Canada. She won the Financial Post/Apple Canada Award for Best Interactive Production for Mine Games. Her interactive production on environmental issues, Double Wedding, was runner-up for the Princes Award from the Crown Princes of Denmark and Spain. In 2000, Drew Ann produced an interactive drama on Internet safety, Missing, which won a Smithsonian ComputerWorld award. It has been played by 25,000,000 students in ten countries around the world. For a recent project, Thunder in our Voices, Drew Ann travelled to schools along the Mackenzie River where she taught audio and video skills to high school students. The Thunder exhibition, which has toured in fifty-five galleries in Canada and the United States, includes twenty of these films. Drew Ann has also worked as a museum designer, developing exhibitions in Canada as well as the US, England, the Netherlands, Austria and China. She is currently working on the River Journeys exhibition with the Fort Simpson Historical Centre.