Shared Citizenship and Self-Government in Canada: A Case Study of James Bay and Nunavik (Northern Quebec)
University of Melbourne - Faculty of Arts
Melbourne Law School
SETTLING WITH INDIGENOUS PEOPLE: MODERN TREATY AND AGREEMENT-MAKING, Marcia Langton, Odette Mazel, Lisa Palmer, Kathryn Shain, eds., pp. 19-43, Irwin Law, 2006
In Canada, treaties were the historical tool for managing competing claims. Negotiation of modern treaties or comprehensive land and self-government agreements, backed by common law recognition of Aboriginal rights and title and their constitutional protection, are now the preferred tool. The history and experience of policy, law, negotiation and implementation of this approach is vast, covering diverse locations, peoples, constitutional entities, environments, projects and populations.
In this chapter, which forms the second chapter of the edited collection 'Settling With Indigenous People', the authors provide an overview of this history and then examine in more detail the ever evolving treaty-making experience in relation to actual agreements, in particular the James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement. They take this agreement and briefly contrast it with self-government initiatives elsewhere, particularly in British Columbia, to examine some of the key concepts emerging from the modern treaty process: relationship building, nation-to-nation negotiations and settler governments' elusive search for certainty. They show through the case study of James Bay and Nunavik (Northern Quebec) that because of the possibilities of Aboriginal title to land including an inherent right to self-government, Canadian governmental institutions are increasingly forced to recognise and even incorporate indigenous governance mechanisms.
Keywords: indigenous people, Canada, British Columbia, Aboriginal, treaty, land claims, self-government
JEL Classification: K11, K19. K30, K39
Date posted: May 20, 2008