Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada, 3rd Edition

29 July 2009

Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada: Current Trends and Issues, 3rd Edition

Edited by Yale D. Belanger
Published by Purich Publishing Ltd.
Review by Judith Silverthorne
$45.00 ISBN 3 978-1895830-323

The third edition of Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada is an academic work. Like its predecessors, it presents a detailed and thorough analysis of the self-governance issues as they are unfolding in Canada. Edited by Yale D. Belanger, it has a forward by John H. Hylton, who was the editor of the first two editions. Policy makers, students and self-government practitioners will find this extensive volume of immense value.

Belanger has gathered 19 comprehensive essays by 31 scholars and politicians to explore the practical side of a functioning self-government. The collection contains three updated chapters and the rest contain new and original material. The book is organized into five sections with section one covering the basic introduction to self-government as it understood in contemporary times. The beginning chapters include a recap the historical development and public acceptance of this concept. Then this impressive collection continues with the state of Aboriginal self-government in Canada today. The distinguished contributors go on to present an examination of the theories and the many practical issues surrounding its implementation.

These issues are related to social problems and policies, criminal justice, community services, employment and job training, finance, the land base of government, women’s rights and concerns, and Métis political structures. Topics addressed also include: initiatives in health, financing and intergovernmental relations, Aboriginal-municipal government relations, developing effective Aboriginal leadership, Métis self government aspirations. There are also comments on the intersection of women’s rights and self-government, and international perspectives. Some of the chapters are devoted to education, such as those that include Aboriginal education in Australia.

Various self-government arrangements already in existence are also examined. Some of these include the establishment of Nunavut, the James Bay Agreement, Treaty Land Entitlement settlements, the Alberta Métis settlements and others that have granted Aboriginal communities greater control over their affairs. Anyone interested in learning about government policy and the aspirations of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples will find this book a comprehensive guide.


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