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Home Policy Articles: Aboriginal: Page 2

Formulating public policy with regards to Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples requires governments to take into consideration a unique set of factors. Issues such as the provision of social services, education, poverty, substance abuse, and health care must be considered in the context of Aboriginal culture and the way in which governments have historically treated Aboriginal peoples. As well, First Nations governance, Treaty Rights, and the implications of the Indian Act are constantly being examined, debated, and re-negotiated. offers insight into current Aboriginal policy debates in Canada.



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Economic Transformation North of 60°

Roxanne Ali’s report follows from a Public Policy Forum conference in December 2006 on the promises and policy challenges of northern development.

Encouraging Success: Ensuring Aboriginal Youth Stay in School

In this report, Brunnen looks at the education and labour force realities that relate to the Aboriginal population in the West. He argues the key challenge lies in devising and implementing strategies that are effective in ensuring Aboriginal youth attain high education levels.

Enhanced Urban Aboriginal Programming in Western Canada

Enhanced Urban Aboriginal Programming in Western Canada, by Calvin Hanselmann, Carolyn Nyhof and Julie McGuire, of the Canada West Foundation, examines programs in place to aid urban Aboriginals in Western Canadian cities.

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.

Improving Primary and Secondary Education on Reserves in Canada

Michael Mendelson contends that education is the passport to full participation in Canadian society. Unfortunately, Mendelson, says, too few Aboriginal Canadians are obtaining this passport.

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.

Individual Property Rights on Canadian Indian Reserves

This article by Tom Flanagan and Christopher Alcantara analyzes the different regimes of private property rights which are found on Canadian Indian reserves (customary rights, certificates of possession under the Indian Act, the variety of land codes now emerging under the recently passed First Nations Land Management Act, and leases, as well as several case-specific regimes). The article aims to provide a more “nuanced and realistic portrait of one aspect of the life of Canada’s aboriginal peoples,” namely their right to property. Additionally, the authors hope that a better understanding of the role of property on Indian reserves will act as a necessary precursor to economic prosperity on said reserves.

Influencers and Priorities: A Sociological Examination of First Nations High School Students in Manitoba

In his paper, Chris Adams studies the extent to which First Nations teenagers report being influenced by those in their family and community as they seek to make choices about their future.

Lillooet is Learning

Human Resources Development Canada (HRDC) created the Office of Learning Technologies (OLT) in 1996 to encourage innovative, technology-based learning.

Manitoba in Profile

Manitoba in Profile, by Jason Azmier of the Canada West Foundation, reports on economic and demographic trends in the province of Manitoba in order to inform policy makers on how best to deal with the increasing number of challenges presented to the province by globalization.

Rethinking The Jurisdictional Divide: The Marginalization of Urban Aboriginal Communities and Federal Policy Responses

In this paper Janice Stokes, Ian Peach and Raymond Blake discuss the urbanization of the Aboriginal population in Canada and consider how a strategy involving the provinces, the aboriginal people themselves as well as the federal government could improve living conditions for Aboriginal peoples in cities.

Self-Determination, Citizenship and Federalism: Indigenous and Canadian Palimpsest

Dr. Joyce Green discusses the unfortunate relationship between Canada's aboriginal population and Canada. She considers how reconciliation may be possible and looks at how conceptions of self-determination, citizenship and identity may inform this reconciliation.

Shared Responsibility: Final Report and Recommendations of the Urban Aboriginal Initiative

In this report, Hanselmann explores the importance of urban Aboriginal issues in the West. This report is the culmination of a two-year study entitled the Urban Aboriginal Initiative, which identified key policy areas, explored policy options and alternatives, highlighted promising practice ideas, and promoted dialogue about urban Aboriginal issues.

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.

The Challenge for Change: Realizing the Legacy of the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry Report

The over-representation of Aboriginal women in prison, relative to their numbers in the general population, has reached alarming proportions in Manitoba. Lafreniere, Fontaine and Comack argue that these women face some of the most severe hardships in our society, including: the intergenerational effects of residential schools and colonial state policies such as the Indian Act; poverty; histories of physical and sexual abuse; mental health issues; and, problems with drugs and alcohol.

The Charter of Rights and Off-Reserve First Nations People: A Way to Fill the Public Policy Vacuum?

Ian Peach discusses the issue of abroigianl urbanization and the difference between the services provided to on-reserve and off-reserve aboriginal peoples in Canada. Peach argues that the denial of services to the off-reserve aboriginal popuation is unconstitutional.

The Indigenous Land Claims in New Zealand and Canada: From Grievance to Enterprise

The issue of Indigenous land rights and development is important not only to Canada and New Zealand but also to the rest of the world where these people represent about 80% of the cultural diversity on earth.

The Town that Lost its Name: The Impact of Hydroelectric Development on Grand Rapids, Manitoba

Grand Rapids, Manitoba consists of two distinct groups: the Cree community and the actual town. Built in the 1960s and 70s, the hydroelectric dam in Grand Rapids was developed without guidance from the local Aboriginal population.

True Partners: Charting a New Deal for BC, First Nations and the Forests We Share

Ben Parfitt analyzes the British Columbia government’s efforts to share provincial revenues and forest resources with First Nations. In his report, Parfitt concludes that although efforts have been made in the wake of various court decisions, the current formula employed by the province is fundamentally flawed.

Uncommon Sense: Promising Practices in Urban Aboriginal Policy-Making and Programming

Calvin Hanselmann’s paper Uncommon Sense: Promising Practices in Urban Aboriginal Policy-Making and Programming, published by the Canada West Foundation, examines “good ideas” on Aboriginal policy-making. Hanselmann stresses that he is not exploring best practices, because of the sense of absolutism attached to the phrase, but rather promising Aboriginal policy practices across Western Canada.

Working Towards Parity: Recommendations of the Aboriginal Human Capital Strategies Initiative

Aboriginal Canadians constitute an ever-increasing portion of the Canadian labour force. Ben Brunnen suggests that since Western Canada will experience a labour market shortage in coming years, it is important that Aboriginal Canadians possess the education, training, and skills necessary to compete successfully in the job market.

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