Catherine Bell is a Professor of Law at the University of Alberta specialising in Indigenous legal issues, cultural heritage law and interdisciplinary collaborative legal research. She has been a visiting professor and scholar at various national and international universities and law programs including the Program of Legal Studies for Native People (University of Saskatchewan), the Akitsiraq Law School (with the University of Victoria), Nunavut Law Program (with the University of Saskatchewan), and Banff Center for Management Aboriginal Leadership and Self-Government Program.
Professor Bell is published widely in the area of Indigenous rights and has worked in collaboration with Métis, First Nation, Inuit, federal, provincial and international government bodies and organizations. She is the author of two books on the Metis settlements of Alberta; contributor to and co-editor of Intercultural Dispute Resolution in Aboriginal Contexts (with David Kahane); and contributor to and co- editor of First Nations Cultural Heritage and Law: Case Studies, Voices and Perspectives (with Val Napolean) and Protection of First Nations Cultural Heritage: Laws, Policy and Reform (with Robert Paterson). Her work in the area of Canadian heritage law, policy and reform draws on Indigenous and Canadian conceptualizations of property and legal institutions, as well as the legal and ethical dynamics at play. Recent projects include collaborations with Yukon First Nations on cultural heritage law and practice under chapter 13 of the YFN land claim and with the Canadian Museums and Indigenous Peoples Council. Her current research focuses on Métis constitutional rights, Indigenous research ethics and the intersection of property law, ethics and Indigenous law in museum settings. In 2012 she was honoured with the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Governor General’s Gold Medal for outstanding contributions to Aboriginal law and legal education in Canada.