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Nature's Law
Spiritual Life, Governance, Culture, Traditions, Resources, Context and Background
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Weakness of Codification Strategies in Indigenous Law

Knowledge Organization

Weakness of Codification

Applying Western Categories

Kinds and Types of Evidence

Visual representation of nature's laws

The logical outcome of such a system is that law cannot be codified according to constant rubrics. For example, it was the case that all those deemed to be a witiko, that is, to embody the cannibal spirit, were condemned in Indigenous cultures. The ‘legal’ result of being condemned was either exile or death. The witiko taboo was constant. Witiko-type behaviour, then, was universally regarded as having legal outcomes, much the same way as running a stoplight will elicit a hefty fine set by the government. So it is not that there were no codes of law. Rather, one could say that there were far fewer codes of law than we have, and that the codes they had were different from ours. A study of law among Indigenous peoples, then, is not a search for the notion of law…that is amply present. It is just that law has to be understood in a different way, with different strategies of application and decision, and different ways of maintaining legal categories.

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