The power of story in moving us forward

Zsuzsa Harsman introduces an important work by Guuduniia (Guud-N- Eye) La Boucan. a Cree woman living in Victoria, B.C. She is an associate lawyer with Devlin Gailus Westaway Law Corporation which specializes in Aboriginal law. She spends much of
her professional time building her practice of Wills and Estates, taxes and Aboriginal Law.

As her final major paper for law school, she wrote a collection of three stories and three essays on the theme of “Law and Story-Telling”. The three stories re-cast three landmark Aboriginal law cases- Delgamuukw, Sparrow and Van der Peet.

The Delgamuukw case established that Aboriginal title in British Columbia existed and had not been extinguished by the colonization of British Columbia. Sparrow recognized that Aboriginal peoples’ fishing rights existed and had priority over commercial and sports fishing. Lastly, Van der Peet also dealt with fishing rights, but the case is mainly known for setting out the test for proof of an Aboriginal right.

These legal decisions had and continue to have profound impacts on the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples of Canada.
Ms. La Boucan approached these legal decisions, not as a legal analyst, but as a story teller who wanted to make them come alive for all to share in a way that is humourous and yet enlightening. She carrie son the analysis in the two essays which are written as letters to her family about her time at law school.The essays enrich and deepen her analysis of the impacts of the law on Aboriginal peoples, forming what she calls a “basket to hold the stories”.

Del’s Truck introduces Del, a generous and content man whose worldly wealth is encompassed within the four wheels of his Ford truck. Del’s truck, which he lovingly calls the Nanaimo Bar, is his contributionto his community. He lends it out to all who have a need and in return he is rewarded with a sense of contentment and joy of sharing. Follow Del as he finds his beloved truck on Reg Couronne’s second-hand car lot and the absurdity that follows.

Dove is a story that pits Noah and his ark against the unyielding Canadian government bureaucracy and legal system. Finding himself somehow flung into the future, Noah is arrested for food fishing during a fishing ban due to the worst collapse of the sockeye run in decades. Read on to see if Noah’s God-given right to fish can survives its treatment at the hands of a judge who is more interested in getting home before the Collwood Crawl begins. With the help of the young defence lawyer, Nye Eve, Noah will battle for his right against the arguments from the prosecuting crown, Crown Prosecutor. Read on and root for


Van der Sneak is a game show host whose game is the only game in town when it comes to determining your Aboriginal rights. Watch as Van der Sneak and his lovely assistant, Vanna B. White welcome three Aboriginal contestants who are willing to gamble their Aboriginal rights for a chance to win big. Let the games begin!