16 Jan Re-Configuring Aboriginal-State Relations. Canada: The State of the Federation 2003

This year’s Canada: The State of the Federation is focused on the reconfiguration of Aboriginal-state relations in the federation. The organizing assumption of the volume is that much of the recent intellectual and policy work in this area has not kept pace with an Aboriginal population that is becoming increasingly socio-demographically diverse, and whose relationships with non-Aboriginal peoples and governments are becoming ever more complex. To address this disjuncture between policy and reality, there is a need for fresh ideas and governance models that speak both to the autonomy of Aboriginal populations and to their relationships of interdependence with non-Aboriginal societies and governments. Particularly vital are initiatives which are relevant to the living experience of land-based, urban, and geographically dispersed Aboriginal populations. Accordingly, one of the central tasks of the volume is to assess whether the self-rule, shared-rule, and intergovernmental features of Canada’s federal geometry are sufficiently flexible to adapt to these challenges. Crucial to this process of federal reform is the cultivation of a political environment where Aboriginal peoples are no longer treated as passive policy takers but as full and equal partners in policy making and institutional design.

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(2005) McGill-Queen’s University Press.