Learning From The Nordic Sami Model

Research Paper, Aboriginal Futures, Joseph Quesnel

In February 2018, the Liberal government in Canada announced it would be releasing in the future a new legislative framework for recognizing Indigenous rights and title, with a heavy emphasis on Indigenous self-governance.

“We need to get to a place where Indigenous peoples in Canada are in control of their own destiny, making their own decisions about their future,” the Prime Minister said during the announcement. It was believed that the end goal of self-determination would be the tackling of entrenched social and economic problems.

However, is the Liberal government putting the cart before the horse or making a premature and mistake inference or conclusion about the causal chain? In the 1970s, courts began to recognize Aboriginal title, and the emphasis switched to Indigenous self-government. Additionally, with the repatriated Constitution and its inclusion of Aboriginal and treaty rights, separate rights and benefits were also emphasized. Economic independence was not placed at the centre but was assumed to come with political independence.

View the entire research paper here.