First Nations governance

Indian Act: Time for a New Memory

Year

Canadians recently discovered the crushing poverty in Attawapiskat. This is not the first time Attawapiskat has struggled; and Attawapiskat is not alone. Every three years or so, these problems are discovered and agonized over. There is often a quick fix – new homes, an emergency relocation, a temporary water supply. And two or three years later, another set of headlines starts the cycle again...

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Herb George, Satsan. "Indian Act: Time for a New Memory." National Centre for First Nations Governance. January 25, 2012. Article. (http://fngovernance.org/news/news_article/indian_act_time_for_a_new_memory accessed October 5, 2012)

Membertou First Nation

Producer
Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada
Year

This short documentary introduces the Membertou First Nation and explains how it freed itself from government dependency. The summary provided on the webpage with the video states:

Through the marriage of indigenous knowledge and modern business practises, the Membertou First Nation has created its own good fortune. See how this ISO-certified community is forging a new path and helping other First Nations follow in their footsteps.

Native Nations
Citation

 "Membertou First Nation." Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada. 2009. Documentary. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wtitD_E6Nc, accessed September 1, 2012)

MOU Membertou Circle of Governance

Producer
Bear Image Productions
Year

 This short documentary looks at the Membertou First Nation and their efforts to get debt-free, attract development to their area, and eliminate government dependency.

Native Nations
Topics
Citation

 "MOU Membertou Circle of Governance." Bear Image Productions. 2010. Documentary. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oD8w9aEy-DE&feature=related, accessed September 1, 2012)

First Nations Economic Development: The Meadow Lake Tribal Council

Year

A new approach to economic development is emerging among the First Nations in Canada. This approach emphasizes the creation of profitable businesses competing in the global economy. These businesses are expected to help First Nations achieve their broader objectives that include: (i) greater control of activities on their traditional lands, (ii) self-determination, and (iii) an end to dependency through economic self-sufficiency. Two key elements of the First Nations economic development strategy are: (i) capacity building through education, institution building and the acquisition of land and resources, and (ii) the formation of business alliances among First Nations and with non-First Nation companies. At the same time, and at least in part in response to these two elements of the First Nations' development strategy, a growing number of non-Aboriginal corporations are adopting business alliances with Aboriginal people as a part of their strategy for long-term corporate survival. The economic development activities of the nine First Nations of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council provide an excellent example of this approach to development 'in action '.

Resource Type
Citation

Anderson, Robert B. and Robert M. Bone. "First Nations Economic Development: The Meadow Lake Tribal Council." The Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development. Volume I. No. I. 1999. Paper. (http://iportal.usask.ca/docs/Journal%20of%20Aboriginal%20Economic%20Deve..., accessed May 5, 2023)

Indian Act Colonialism: A Century Of Dishonour, 1869-1969

Author
Producer
National Centre for First Nations Governance
Year

In 1867, with the passage of the British North America Act, Canadians began the process of nation building. Over the next few years, new provinces emerged--Manitoba, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island--and Canada became, by 1873, a nation from sea to sea. At the same time, by way of three legal instruments, the federal government was equipped to function as an imperial power. Section 91:24 of the B.N.A. Act assigned to it the responsibility for all "Indians and lands reserved for Indians" a responsibility that had been carried by the Imperial government for the previous century. The Rupert's Land Order in Council transferred the vast Hudson's Bay territories to Canada's exclusive jurisdiction. And finally, in the Indian Act of 1869, the government set out its own vision of future Canada-First Nations relations: an aggressive colonizing project of assimilation not only of First Nations in those territories but of all First Nations throughout the nation.

Native Nations
Resource Type
Topics
Citation

Milloy, John. "Indian Act Colonialism: A Century Of Dishonour, 1869-1969". Research Paper for the National Centre for First Nations Governance. The National Centre for First Nations Governance. Canada. May 2008. Paper.

Indigenous Governance: Questioning the Status and the Possibilities for Reconciliation with Canada's Commitment to Aboriginal and Treaty Rights

Producer
Centre for First Nations Governance
Year

Indigenous peoples have always had governance. This fact has been a matter of great debate among Canadian politicians and scholars for many years, but there is little doubt that Indigenous Nations had developed for themselves complex systems of government prior to colonization. The important questions that need to be asked today do not concern the pre-existence of Indigenous government but instead raise questions of the existence of Indigenous government today. Are Indian Act band councils governments? What about "traditional" governments? What about self-government? This paper responds to such questions concerning the status of Indigenous governments as governments and considers their place in the federal and constitutional order of Canada.  

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Ladner, Kiera L. "Indigenous Governance: Questioning the Status and the Possibilities for Reconciliation with Canada's Commitment to Aboriginal and Treaty Rights". Research Paper for the National Centre for First Nations Governance. The National Centre for First Nations Governance. Canada. September 15, 2006. Paper. (https://fngovernance.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/kiera_ladner.pdf, accessed July 25, 2023)

The Jurisdiction of Inherent Right Aboriginal Governments

Author
Year

Since the recognition of Aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada by section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982, the inherent right of the Aboriginal peoples to govern themselves has become a generally accepted aspect of Canadian constitutional law. But what is the scope of the governmental authority, or jurisdiction, that is exercisable by inherent right Aboriginal governments? And how does the jurisdiction of Aboriginal governments interact with the jurisdiction of other governments in Canada, especially the federal and provincial governments? This research paper will attempt to answer these questions in a general way, without attempting to determine or assess the jurisdiction of any particular Aboriginal government. 

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

McNeil, Kent. "The Jurisdiction of Inherent Right Aboriginal Governments". Research Paper for the National Centre for First Nations Governance. National Centre for First Nations Governance. Canada. October 11, 2007. Paper. (https://fngovernance.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/kent_mcneil.pdf , accessed February 12, 2024)

Seven Generations, Seven Teachings: Ending the Indian Act

Author
Year

Six generations have passed since the Indian Act was introduced and the seventh generation, now rising, will be healthier and our communities will enjoy more freedom if we assist them in getting rid of the Indian Act. Communities and the next generation can overcome the Indian Act’s hold over all aspects of their life by following their own fundamental teachings. Following his own Anishnabe teachings of the Seven Grandfathers, John Borrows demonstrates how these seven principles can guide action towards lessening this hold of the Indian Act on First Nations. 

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Borrow, John. "Seven Generations, Seven Teachings: Ending the Indian Act." Research Paper for the National Centre on First Nations Governance. National Centre for First Nations Governance. Canada. May 2008. Paper. 

The Governance and Fiscal Environment of First Nations' Fiscal Intergovernmental Relations in Comparative Perspectives

Year

This paper examines the Canadian Aboriginal fiscal inter-governmental system by comparing it to other countries, and also focuses on the key characteristics of the Canadian system. Over the last 20 years governments have decentralized power and responsibilities in response to an increasingly competitive global economy. This has led them to strengthen the responsibilities of their regional and local governments. Key to this process are central governments attempts to structure and restructure their local and regional governance systems to articulate“ that is link - the social and economic development of each community into the global economy. This articulation “and re-articulation “ has tremendous influence on the implementation of local and regional systems of governance. In particular, it results in a tug-of-war between some fundamental principles of government, specifically between principles of autonomy and responsibility of each government level, and efficiency and democratic accountability. As a result of these on-going decentralizing reforms, contemporary local and regional governments are more often made up of elected officials that are accountable to their local and regional electorates. Their resources are increasingly dependent on local wealth and local tax revenues; increased financial, democratic and managerial stress follows, as well as more policy responsibilities. The most successful regional governance systems are those that are best able to adapt to these changes, while also being sensitive to local and regional-specific culture, tradition, and history. This is the environment that sets the current context of fiscal inter-governmental relations in Canada. 

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Brunet-Jailley, Emmanuel. "The Governance and Fiscal Environment of First Nations' Fiscal Intergovernmental Relations in Comparative Perspectives". Research Paper for the National Centre on First Nations Governance. National Centre for First Nations Governance. Canada. March 2008. Paper.

The Structure of the Indian Act: Accountability in Governance

Author
Year

The Indian Act has been criticized for giving the Chief and Council too little power to make their own decisions. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples counted nearly 90 provisions that give the Minister of Indian Affairs powers over the Band and Band Council. But the Indian Act has also been criticized for giving the Chief and Council too much power to make decisions. Some people point out that Chief and Council do not have enough accountability to members of the community. In sum, the Indian Act is criticized for giving Chief and Council too little authority and with giving Chief and Council too much authority. The fact is, both criticisms are valid. We will see in the discussion on the following pages how the structure of the Indian Act creates this contradictory state of affairs. We will discuss how to avoid such contradictions when the First Nation moves out of the Indian Act to a more suitable First Nation designed government system. 

Native Nations
Resource Type
Citation

Imai, Shin. "The Structure of the Indian Act: Accountability in Governance". Research Paper for the National Centre on First Nations Governance. National Centre for First Nations Governance. Canada. July 2007. Paper.