College of Law

Research Area(s)

  • Aboriginal rights
  • Administrative law
  • Canadian Constitutional Law
  • Environmental law
  • Human rights law
  • Natural Resource Law
  • Sentencing Law

Professional education

LLM (Otago) 2014
JD (UBC) 2010
BA (UBC) 2007


Benjamin Ralston joined the College of Law in a tenure track position in January of 2023. Prior to this, he had worked at the University of Saskatchewan in various other capacities since first moving to Saskatoon in 2014. Among other roles, he held term positions as an Assistant Professor at the College of Law, including for the first year of the Nunavut Law Program in Iqaluit; he worked in research and publications at the Indigenous Law Centre; and he taught law courses in the Kanawayihetaytan Askiy Program for Indigenous land managers. Benjamin has also taught and continues to teach a graduate course on environmental law and policy for the School of Environment and Sustainability. He is also completing his PhD at the College of Law, with a dissertation investigating the intersection between environmental assessment practices and Indigenous rights in Canada.

Prior to coming to Saskatoon, Benjamin completed his Master of Law with distinction at the University of Otago with a thesis that explored the relationship between marine spatial planning and Indigenous rights in the Hauraki Gulf of Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific North Coast region of British Columbia. He also completed his Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees at the University of British Columbia.

Outside of legal academia, Benjamin has also practised law, primarily as a litigator in the areas of administrative law, Aboriginal law, and environmental law. He was first called to the British Columbia bar in 2011 and he later joined the Law Society of Saskatchewan in 2015. Among other experiences in private practice, Benjamin worked for Indigenous clients in the Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River, the Joint Review Panel and subsequent judicial review proceedings for the Northern Gateway Pipeline, and injunction proceedings related to the Coastal GasLink Pipeline. He is also a proud father and husband.

Courses Taught

Environmental Law (444)
Kwayeskastasowin, Setting Things Right (232)
Administrative Law (340)

Tort Law (212)
Regulation of Professions (320)
Administrative Law (340)
Nunavut Law Program - Foundation Year (398)
Aboriginal Law (436/898)
Environmental Law (444)
Aboriginal Self-Government (473)
Indigenous Peoples in International and Comparative Law (480)

Select publications

Benjamin Ralston, “Chapter 9: Gladue Considerations” in Judge Gregory Koturbash, How to Conduct a Sentencing Hearing in Canada (Toronto: LexisNexis Canada, in press)

James (Sákéj) Youngblood Henderson, Isobel Findlay, Benjamin Ralston, & Marjorie Benson, Aboriginal Tenure in the Constitution of Canada, 2nd ed (Toronto: Thomson Reuters Canada, 2022)

Benjamin Ralston, “Treaty of Waitangi” in Kevin W. Gray et al, eds, Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights (Cham: Springer, 2021)

Benjamin Ralston, “Legal pluralism in the sentencing of Indigenous persons in Canada: the nascent jurisprudence” (2021) 493 Développements récents en droit des autochtones 47

Benjamin Ralston, Gladue Principles: A Guide to the Jurisprudence (Saskatoon: Indigenous Law Centre, 2021)

Benjamin Ralston, “R. v. Sharma: Addressing systemic discrimination in the criminal justice system” (2020) 66 Criminal Reports (7th) 367

Benjamin Ralston, Gladue Awareness Project: Final Report (Saskatoon: Indigenous Law Centre, 2020)

Benjamin Ralston & Christine Goodwin, “R. v. Drysdale: A gold standard for the implementation of R v Gladue” (2017) 33 Criminal Reports (7th) 114

Benjamin Ralston, “Aboriginal Title to Submerged Lands in Canada: Will Tsilhqot’in Sink or Swim?” (2017) 8(27) Indigenous Law Bulletin

Sarah Burningham & Benjamin Ralston, “Highlights from the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, 2015” (2016) 79:2 Saskatchewan Law Review 299

Benjamin Ralston & Jacinta Ruru, “Landmark EPA Decision” (2014) New Zealand Law Journal 284