The Structure of the Indian Act: Accountability in Governance

15 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2012 Last revised: 29 Oct 2012

See all articles by Shin Imai

Shin Imai

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School

Date Written: April 1, 2012

Abstract

There is a paradox in the Chief and Council governance scheme laid out in Canada's Indian Act. This paper describes the paradox and suggests a way out utilizing self-governance initiatives.

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.

Keywords: Indian Act, self-determination, self-government, indigenous, Aboriginal, Indian, accountability, Band Council, Chief and Council

JEL Classification: K39

Suggested Citation

Imai, Shin, The Structure of the Indian Act: Accountability in Governance (April 1, 2012). Osgoode CLPE Research Paper No. 35/2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2032786 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2032786

Shin Imai (Contact Author)

York University - Osgoode Hall Law School ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

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