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.