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Colin Scott

Co-director – McGill University


Colin Scott, Professor in the Department of Anthropology at McGill University, is Co-director of L4E. He investigates how premises of inter-species respect, reciprocity and communication among hunting, fishing and gathering peoples frame paradigms for environmental knowledge. How do indigenous relational premises shape and conjoin the ethical and instrumental aspects of livelihood and stewardship practices, and how are they reciprocally shaped by this experience? A related major interest has been the land and sea tenure arrangements that are both an institutional context for, and product of, ecological knowledge. Professor Scott has pursued these themes among coastal James Bay Cree of northern Quebec since 1976, and among Torres Strait Islanders in northern Queensland since 1996. His research in both regions engages the discursive reconfiguration of Indigenous land and sea rights, as state governments, metropolitan developers and Indigenous peoples negotiate contested terrains of ownership and jurisdiction. To L4E, Professor Scott brings his experience as Director of the Centre for Indigenous Conservation and Development Alternatives, for which engaged research supporting Territories of Life – areas governed, managed and conserved by custodian Indigenous peoples and/or other local communities – is key.


2013. “Ontology and Ethics in Cree Hunting: animism, totemism and practical knowledge.” In Graham Harvey, ed. The Handbook of Contemporary Animism. Durham (UK): Acumen. Pp. 159-166.

2013. “Le partage des ressources au Québec: perspectives et stratégies autochtones.” In Alain Beaulieu, Stéphan Gervais et Martin Papillon, eds. Les Autochtones et le Québec: Des premiers contacts au Plan Nord. Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, collection Paramètres. Pp. 363-384.

2012. (Mulrennan, M.E., Mark, R. and C.H. Scott) “Revamping Community-based Conservation through Participatory Research.” The Canadian Geographer 56(2): 243–259.

2010. (Colin Scott and Monica Mulrennan) “Reconfiguring Mare Nullius: Indigenous Sea Rights and the Divergence of Domestic and International Norms.” In Mario Blaser, Ravi de Costa, Deborah McGregor and William Coleman, eds. Indigenous Peoples and Autonomy: Insights for a Global Age. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Pp. 148-176.

2010. (Wren Nasr and Colin Scott) “The Politics of Indigenous Knowledge in Environmental Assessment: James Bay Crees and Hydro-Electric Projects.” In Petra Rethmann, Imre Szeman and Will Coleman, eds. Cultural Autonomy: Frictions and Connections. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press. Pp. 132-155.

2008. “James Bay Cree.” In Garrick Bailey, vol. ed., W.C. Sturtevant, general ed. Handbook of North American Indians, vol. 2, Indians in Contemporary Society, Washington: Smithsonian Institution. Pp. 252-260.

2007. “Bear Metaphor: Spirit, Ethics and Ecology in Wemindji Cree Hunting.” In Frédéric Laugrand and Jarich Oosten, eds. Nature des esprits dans les cosmologies autochtones / Nature of Spirits in Aboriginal Cosmologies. Collection Mondes autochtones. Québec : Les Presses de l’Université Laval. Pp. 387-399.

2006. “Spirit and Practical Knowledge in the Person of the Bear among Wemindji Cree Hunters.” Ethnos 71(1):51-66.


2005. “Co-management and the Politics of Aboriginal Consent to Resource Development: the Agreement Concerning a New Relationship between le Gouvernement du Québec and the Crees of Québec (2002).” In M. Murphy, ed. Canada: the State of Federation 2003. Reconfiguring Aboriginal-State Relations. Montreal/Kingston: McGill-Queen’s Press. Pp. 133-163.

2005. (Scott, C. and J. Morrison) “Frontières et territories: mode de tenure des terres des Cris de l’Est dans la region frontalière Québec/Ontario – II – Reconstruction et renouveau.” Recherches Amérindiennes au Québec 35(1):41-56.


2004. (Colin Scott and James Morrison) “Frontières et territoires : mode de tenure des terres des Cris de l’Est dans la région frontalière Québec/Ontario – I – Crise et effondrement.” In C. Scott, ed. Propriété, territorialité et identité politique, special issue, Recherches Amérindiennes au Québec 34(3):23-43.

2004. '"Our Feet are on the Land, but our Hands are in the Sea:' Knowing and Caring for Marine Territory at Erub, Torres Strait." In Richard Davis, ed. Woven Histories, Dancing Lives: Torres Strait Islander Identity, Culture and History. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press. Pp. 259-270.

2004. (ed.) Propriété, territorialité et identité politique (special Issue) Recherches Amérindiennes au Québec 34(3).

2001. (ed.) Aboriginal Autonomy and Development in Northern Quebec and Labrador. Vancouver: UBC Press.

2000. (Mulrennan, M. and C. Scott) “Mare Nullius: Indigenous Rights in Saltwater Environments” Development and Change 31(3):681-708.

1996. "Science for the West, Myth for the Rest? The Case of James Bay Cree Knowledge Construction.” In Laura Nader, ed. Naked Science: Anthropological Inquiries into Boundaries, Power and Knowledge. London: Routledge. Pp. 69-86.

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