Alan Hanna

Assistant Professor


Tel: 250-472-5247
Fax: 250-721-6390

Faculty of Law, University of Victoria
PO Box 1700, STN CSC
Victoria, BC  V8W 2Y2

I was appointed to the Faculty of Law in 2019 as an assistant professor. My teaching and research interests include Indigenous laws and jurisdiction, governance, rights and title, and environmental sustainability under Indigenous legal traditions, Aboriginal law and jurisprudence, and the many intersections of these disparate systems. My primary research interest is how agreements and resulting obligations arise in different Indigenous legal orders, as a means of thinking about alternate conceptions of contracting with others. I teach Transsystemic Contracts in the JD/JID program, where students explore various examples of agreements, promises, and obligations from diverse Indigenous legal perspectives in conversation with contract law concepts and principles. Additionally, I teach the Law 350I: Field Course in the JD/JID program, and Indigenous legal research methodologies. I have also taught Aboriginal Lands, Rights, and Governance.

I previously practiced Aboriginal law at Woodward & Company Lawyers LLP in Victoria. A person of mixed Blackfoot, French, and Scottish ancestry, I am connected to the Northern Secwepemc community of T’exelc through marriage. My PhD work involved analyses of Tsilhqot’in traditional laws applied to the access and use of surface water to provide a framework for informing contemporary Tsilhqot’in watershed governance.


  • BA (Hons) Anthropology – UVic (2009)
  • MA Anthropology – UVic (2011)
  • JD – UVic (2014)
  • PhD Law – UVic (2020)
  • Alan Hanna and Emmaline English, “Can a Moose Be a Party to a Contract? Nuanced Spaces for Indigenous Perspectives in Canadian Contract Law” in Marcus Moore and Samuel Beswick, eds., The Supreme Court Law Review, Second Series, Vol. 109. Canadian Law of Obligations III: The Power and Limits of Private Law (LexisNexis, 2023) 129.
  • “Untenable Origins: The Mystery of Reconciliation in Canada” in Byron Williston, ed., Environmental Ethics for Canadians, 3rd Ed. (Oxford, 2023) 170.

  • “An Introduction to Indigenous and Aboriginal Laws in Contracts” in Stephanie Ben-Ishai and David Percy, eds., Contracts: Cases and Commentaries, 11th Ed. (Thompson Reuters 2022) 17.

  • “Going Circular: Indigenous Legal Research Methodology as Legal Practice” (2020) 65 McGill LJ.

  • "Art of the Interview: Research in Indigenous Communities” in Walking Together in Indigenous Research, Laura Forsythe and Jennifer Markides, eds., (New York: DIO Press, 2020). 
  • “Reconciliation Through Relationality in Indigenous Legal Orders” (2019) 56:3 Alta L Rev 817.

  • “Spaces for Sharing: Searching for Indigenous Law on the Canadian Legal Landscape” (2018) 51:1 UBC L Rev 105.

  • “Making the Round: Aboriginal Title in the Common Law from a Tsilhqot’in Legal Perspective” (2015) 45:3 Ottawa L Rev 365.

  • Law 105I: Transsystemic Contracts
  • Law 340: Aboriginal Lands, Rights, and Governance
  • Law 350I: Indigenous Fields Study Level I
  • Law 388A: Indigenous Law Research, Method and Practice
Prof. Hanna accepts LL.M. and Ph.D. students interested in their areas of research, especially Indigenous-related projects (domestic and international); Aboriginal law related projects; and Indigenous Governance, Rights, Title.