Aimee Craft
Aimee Craft
Associate Professor (on leave)

57 Louis Pasteur, Room 391
Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 2767


Aimée Craft is an award-winning teacher and researcher, recognized internationally as a leader in the area of Indigenous laws, treaties and water.  She holds a University Research Chair Nibi miinawaa aki inaakonigewin: Indigenous governance in relationship with land and water.

An Associate Professor at the Faculty of Common law, University of Ottawa and an Indigenous (Anishinaabe-Métis) lawyer from Treaty 1 territory in Manitoba, she is the former Director of Research at the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the founding Director of Research at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation. She practiced at the Public Interest Law Centre for over a decade and in 2016 she was voted one of the top 25 most influential lawyers in Canada.  In 2021 she was awarded the prestigious Canadian Bar Association President’s Award and was named the Early Career Researcher of the Year Award at the University of Ottawa.

Prof. Craft prioritizes Indigenous-lead and interdisciplinary research, including through visual arts and film, co-leads a series of major research grants on Decolonizing Water Governance and works with many Indigenous nations and communities on Indigenous relationships with and responsibilities to nibi (water).  She plays an active role in international collaborations relating to transformative memory in colonial contexts and relating to the reclamation of Indigenous birthing practices as expressions of territorial sovereignty.

Breathing Life Into the Stone Fort Treaty, her award-winning book, focuses on understanding and interpreting treaties from an Anishinaabe inaakonigewin (legal) perspective. Treaty Words, her critically acclaimed children’s book, explains treaty philosophy and relationships.

She is past chair of the Aboriginal Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association and a current member of the Speaker's Bureau of the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba.

Courses taught

Droit constitutionnel II

Études juridiques interdisciplinaires: Traditions juridiques autochtones

Peuples autochtones et le droit

Indigenous Legal Mechanisms

Droit de l’eau

Multi-media projects

Selected publications

  • Navigating Our Ongoing Sacred Legal Relationship with Nibi (Water), in J. Borrows, L. Chartrand, O. Fitzgerald and R Schwartz (eds), Braiding Legal Orders: Implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (Centre for International Governance Innovation, 2019) pp.101-110.
  • Neither Infringement nor Justification – the SCC’s Mistaken Approach to Reconciliation, in B. Gunn and K. Drake (eds), Renewing Relationships: Indigenous Peoples and Canada (University of Saskatchewan Native Law Centre, 2019) Chapter 3, pp. 59-82.
  • Giving and Receiving Life from Anishinaabe Nibi Inaakonigewin (Our Water Law) Research, in J. Thorpe, S. Rutherford and A. Sandberg, Methodological Challenges in Nature-Culture and Environmental History Research, (Routledge, 2017) pp. 105-119.
  • Living Treaties, Breathing Research. Canadian Journal of Women and The Law. 26:1-22, 2014
  • Anishinaabe nibi inaakonigewin (PDF, 3.28 MB), Report on Elders Gathering (Winnipeg: Centre for Human Rights Research, 2014), 50 pp.
  • Breathing Life into the Stone Fort Treaty: An Anishnaabe Understanding of Treaty One (Purich Publishing, 2013), 159 pp. 

Selected media interviews

Research projects

  1. Decolonizing Water Governance:
  2. Wa Ni Ska Tan:
  3. Grand Council of Treaty #3's Nibi (Water) Declaration:

More of Professor Craft’s publications can be found on her SSRN webpage.