James C. Hopkins

Associate Clinical Professor, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program; Affiliated Professor of American Indian Studies & Latin American Studies
Tribal Affiliation
Algonquin/Metis - Quebec

Professor Hopkins is Algonquin/Metis from Quebec. He is a former law clerk to the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and is a member of the Ontario Bar. Prior to joining the College of Law, he was an Assistant Professor with the Faculty of Law, at the University of Alberta. He graduated from Harvard Law School's joint Masters of Laws and International Tax Program (LLM/ITP) in June 2000. Professor Hopkins' area of interest is the intersection between trade, tax and aboriginal law. He is a recipient of the Harvard University International Tax Program's Award for Excellence in Research and Writing for his graduate thesis titled, "Democratization by Taxation:  Democratic Experimentalism in Aboriginal Canada."

Representative Publications

  • Tribal Sovereignty and Climate Change: Moving Toward Intergovernmental Cooperation, in Navigating Climate Change Policy: The Opportunities of Federalism 48 (Edella Schlager, Kirsten Engel, & Sally Rider eds., 2011).
  • Rights for Indigenous Peoples: The Struggle for Uniformity: The UN Declaration and Beyond, 9 Geo. J. Int'l Aff. 75 (2008).
  • Therapeutic Lending in a Post-Colonial World, 14 Mich. St. J. Int'l L. 439 (2006).
  • Visions of Indigenous Prosperity: Economic Self-Determination and the Role of Federal Indian Law, in Legal Aspects of Aboriginal Business Developments 67 (Joseph E. Magnet & Dwight A. Dorey eds., 2005).
  • Betting on Self-Determination, 5 Indigenous L. Bull. 8 (July 2002).
  • Constitutional Aspects of Aboriginal Economic Development: Taxation and Aboriginal Governance in Canada, in Constitucion y Derechos Indigenas 29 (Jorge Galvan ed., 2002).
  • Complete List of Publications


  • LL.M. /ITP Harvard Law School


    Graduated with the Award of Excellence in Research and Writing for LL.M. Thesis; Graduated summa cum laude; Mass. Indian Association Scholar, 1999

  • LL.B. University of Toronto


    Wilson Moot National finalist in tax & family law, 1995; Department of Justice Aboriginal Scholarship Recipient, 1994 - 1996; Roger Carter Q.C. Scholar, 1994; Leslie G. Dollinger Memorial Prize, 1993

  • B.A. (Innis College) University of Toronto


    Intern Award: Population Research, Department of Sociology, 1991 - 1992; Erindale Merit & Leadership Award, 1991

Admitted to Practice

  • Ontario, Canada

Work Experience

  • Associate Clinical Professor, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program

    James E. Rogers College of Law

    2000 - present

  • National Chair in Aboriginal Economic Development; Associate Visiting Professor

    Faculty of Law and the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada

    2010 - 2011

  • Visiting Professor of Law

    University of Victoria, Faculty of Law, Indigenous Legal Studies Program

    Summer 2005

  • Adjunct Professor

    University of Arizona American Indian Studies Program

    2002 - present

  • Director, Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program

    James E. Rogers College of Law

    2000 - 2005

  • Thomas G. Feeney Visiting Professor in Business Law

    University of Ottawa, Faculty of Law, Common Law Section

    Winter 2004

  • Assistant Professor of Law

    University of Alberta Faculty of Law


  • Judicial Clerk

    Hon. Regional Senior Justice Bernstein & Hon. Regional Senior Justice Platana - North East & North West Regions - Ontario Superior Court of Justice & Divisional Court of Ontario, Canada


  • Articles of Law

    Fraser, Milner, Casgrain, Toronto, Canada

    1996 - 1997

Public & Institutional Service

  • Researcher (with 4 others), Substance Abuse Prevention - Diversion Programs in Tribal Courts: Case Studies

    2005 - 2007 (Federal Department of Justice Grant & The Native American Research and Training Center, The University of Arizona).

  • Co-principal Investigator (with 2 others), Health Law and Policy Implications for Native American Foster Care in Arizona

    2005 - 2006 (Inter-Agency Agreement with the State of Arizona and the College of Medicine).

  • Clinical Supervisor (with 2 research fellows), Agricultural Industries in the Southwest: Law and Policy Implications for Tribes

    2005 - 2006 (Research Grant in partnerhsip with the Native Peoples Technical Assistance Office

  • Member, Governor for the State of Arizona's Tribal Health Advisory Group

    2004 - 2006 (Provides research and policy recommendations on a wide range of health law and policy issues that effect tribal governments in Arizona.)

  • Manuscript Reviewer, University of Arizona Press

    2004 - 2006

  • Member, Executive Committee - Native American Cancer Research Partnership, University of Arizona

    2003 - 2004. NACRP is a cooperative agreement sponsored by the National Cancer Institute's Minority Institute/Cancer Center Program dedicated to alleviating the unequal burden of cancer among underserved populations.

  • Committee Member, CEGA, University of Arizona

    2003 - 2004 (This is an interdisciplinary body focusing on the research between Humanities and Social Sciences, supporting interdisciplinary and collaborative scholarship).

  • Clinical Supervisor, Land Use Ordinances, Zoning, By-Law Development

    2002 - 2003 (Training and Research Grant funded by the Administration for Native Americans for The Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, California.)

  • Counsel Pro Bono to the Traditional Authorities of the Rio Yaqui Pueblos, before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the Supreme Court of Mexico, and the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (UN CERD)
  • Chief Justice of the Pascua Yaqui Court of Appeals, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, Tucson


  • LLM