The Structure of the Indian Act: Accountability in Governance
15 Pages Posted: 3 Apr 2012 Last revised: 29 Oct 2012
Date Written: April 1, 2012
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: Suggested Citation