Catherine Bell, BA, LLB (Sask), LLM (UBC)

Professor, Faculty of Law


Professor, Faculty of Law
(780) 492-5794
427 Law Centre
8820 - 111 St NW
Edmonton AB
T6G 2H5



Catherine Bell specializes in Indigenous rights, access to justice, cultural heritage law, collaborative research and ethics. She teaches Canadian Aboriginal rights law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Property Law and developed and oversees UAlberta Law’s Low Income Clinical Law Program and the Aboriginal Justice Externship on Gladue Sentencing Principles. She has been a visitor at national and international universities and helped develop and deliver Indigenous legal education programs across Canada, including the Program of Legal Studies for Native People (University of Saskatchewan), the Akitsiraq Law Program (Nunavut), and the Banff Centre for Management’s Aboriginal Leadership and Self-Government Program.

Professor Bell is published widely and has worked in collaboration with and as an advisor to Indigenous, provincial, national, and international government bodies and organizations. Her work on cultural heritage law and policy tackles many critical issues in contemporary national and international cultural heritage and is used widely in interdisciplinary academic and applied contexts. Her work on Métis constitutional rights and the Metis settlements has influenced Métis law and policy in Canada.

In 2012, Professor Bell was awarded the Canadian Bar Association’s Ramon John Hnatyshyn Governor General’s Gold Medal recognizing her outstanding contributions to law and legal education in Canada. She is also the co-recipient of a prestigious MCRI on Indigenous Rights and Intangible Cultural Heritage and a SSHRC Insight Grant exploring Métis constitutional rights and treaties.

  • Metis
  • First Nation and Inuit Legal Issues
  • Interdisciplinary and Collaborative Community Centred Qualitative and Applied Legal Research
  • Domestic and International Cultural Heritage Law
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Research Ethics
  • Law for Low Income People


LAW 589 - Specialized Legal Topics

These courses will cover specialized topics of emerging importance in the law at a senior level in a format with a significant out-of-classroom component. The particular topic covered would vary dependent on the availability of Faculty with necessary teaching competence, student interest, and the needs of the legal profession.

Fall Term 2020
LAW 590 - Indigenous Peoples and the Law

This is a survey course on Indigenous Peoples in Canadian Law. Subjects covered include issues of race and legal reasoning, legal and historical foundations of claims to Indigenous rights, treaty rights, Métis rights, Indigenous peoples and the Constitution, Indigenous claims negotiation and litigation, the Indian Act, and contemporary legal and political developments including an introduction to Indigenous law, jurisdiction and governance. The course is organized as a seminar in which a great deal of learning arises from discussion and class participation.

Fall Term 2020

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