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Home Policy Articles: Aboriginal: Governance


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Economic Development in First Nations: An Overview of Current Issues popular

Gordon Shanks raises a serious public policy question: To what extent are First Nations communities and individuals who are actively participating in the Canadian economy living to the best of their potential? He refers to a recent work comparing a Human Development Index (HDI) for Canadians as a whole vis-à-vis the Registered Indian population. Shanks points out that there is a significant gap between these two populations and that Registered Indians continue to have shorter life expectancy, lower educational attainment, and lower average annual incomes.

Harvard Project Lessons on Self-Government: Improving Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada popular

In this brief backgrounder, Dennis Owens explores the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development; for 15 years, this project has been conducting on-the-ground research into the relationship between governance on Indian reservations and its effects on prosperity.

Lessons from Abroad: Towards a New Social Model for Canada's Aboriginal Peoples popular

The objective of this paper is to point to some of the common challenges around Aboriginal social policy in different countries. The authors hope to learn from experiences elsewhere, to enhance knowledge in Canada as it relates to Aboriginal Peoples.

Quality of Life of Aboriginal People in Canada: An Analysis of Current Research popular

Daniel Salée explores the current state of knowledge regarding the broad issues affecting Aboriginal people in Canada.

"A Very Hostile System in Which to Live": Aboriginal Electoral Participation in Winnipeg's Inner City

Silver, Keeper and MacKenzie begin their report by pointing out that Aboriginal people are, on average, less likely than non-Aboriginal people to vote in mainstream (federal, provincial, and municipal) elections. In this paper, Silver, Keeper and MacKenzie try to determine whether Aboriginal people in Winnipeg’s inner city vote in mainstream elections; if not, then why not.

A New Agenda for Strengthening Canada’s Aboriginal Population: Individual Treaty Benefits, Reduced Transfers to Bands and Own-Source Taxation

John Richards suggests he has two purposes in writing this paper: 1) to make the case for diverting a significant share of Treaty benefits from Band Councils to individual Aboriginal Canadians; and 2) to make the case for introducing on-reserve taxation by Band Councils. While he points out that many Aboriginal Canadians want to live a more traditional life on a well-run reserve, he also notes that others prefer to live off-reserve. In order to give Aboriginal Canadians greater flexibility in their choice of where to live, Richards argues the federal government needs to initiate sound economic policies.

Aboriginal Communities and Urban Sustainability

This article by Katherine A.H. Graham and Evelyn Peters looks at aboriginals and city life, and the policy environment that surrounds this relationship. They argue that there are certain key characteristics of the current policy milieu. First is the “jurisdictional maze” of policy and jurisprudence. The second element is that we seem to be developing a more “nuanced understanding of the characteristics of Aboriginal people living in cities”, acknowledging their inter-connectedness with the non-urban aboriginal population. The third element is the “nascent understanding” that locally-driven initiatives can be very responsive to immediate problems, even from the point of view of federal programs. Finally, the authors offer several recommendations.

Counsel for Canadian Federalism: Aboriginal Governments and the Council of the Federation

This brief report by Abele and Prince is part of a series of commentaries published by the IRPP to encourage wider knowledge and discussion of the Council of the Federation. The Council of the Federation was created in July 2003 by the provincial premiers and territorial leaders to better manage their relations, and ultimately, build a more constructive relationship with the federal government.

Federalism and the First Nations: Making space for First Nations’ Self-Determination in the Federal Inherent Right Policy

This paper considers the challenges to the negotiation of aboriginal self-government in Saskatchewan.

First Nations and Métis People and Diversity in Canadian Cities

This article by Evelyn Peters analyzes ways to recognize and accommodate First Nations and Métis diversity in cities.

In a Voice of Their Own: Urban Aboriginal Community Development

In this paper Silver, Ghorayshi, Hay and Klyne attempt to explain how urban Aboriginal communities have attempted to transcend traditional Aboriginal discrimination and create urban areas that focus on Aboriginal organization, culture, and empowerment.

Sharing in the Benefits of Resource Developments: A Study of First Nations-Industry Impact Benefits Agreement

In this paper Gordon Shanks analyzes the role of Impact and Benefits Agreements (IBAs) in the resource development process.

Urgent Need, Serious Opportunity: Towards a New Social Model for Canada's Aboriginal Peoples

In this paper, Frances Abele addresses the subject of social welfare for Aboriginal peoples in Canada.