Category Archives: Policy Briefs

Moving Forward in a Time of Restraint: Three Initiatives to Improve First Nation Well-being

DOWNLOAD |  In a time of restraint that the government now finds itself, the challenge will be how to move forward on First Nation issues without the ability to afford large new expenditure programs. The purpose of this paper is … Continue reading

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Empowering Highly Distressed First Nation Communities to Help Themselves: A Proposed Approach

DOWNLOAD |  This policy brief argues that there is no apparent strategy for dealing with the most distressed First Nation communities, reviews briefly the reasons why governance reform is so difficult to effect and proposes a series of pilot projects … Continue reading

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The First Nation Governance System: A Brake on Closing the Community Well-being Gap

DOWNLOAD |  In this paper, the author notes that the gap in the community well-being index between First Nation communities and those in the rest of Canada appears to be widening, not narrowing, and argues that the unique and dysfunctional … Continue reading

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A Legacy of Excellence: Board Governance at the Aboriginal Healing Foundation

DOWNLOAD |  Based on a literature search and their experience in working with boards, the authors describe 11 characteristics of high performing Aboriginal boards and then use these to assess the board of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. Their conclusion is … Continue reading

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In Praise of Taxes: The Link between Taxation and Good Governance for First Nations Communities

DOWNLOAD |  The authors make the case that governments that rely primarily or solely on non-tax revenues tend to have poor governance. They conclude that tax regimes promise to yield First Nations both lasting sources of revenue and substantial governance … Continue reading

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How To Improve First Nation Housing

DOWNLOAD | According to the authors, the elements of a successful housing program in First Nation communities are well known. Leadership, community support and technical expertise are the more elusive factors. An accreditation system might provide the necessary incentives for … Continue reading

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Rethinking Self-government: Developing a More Balanced, Evolutionary Approach

DOWNLOAD |   The difficulty of reaching self-government agreements indicates the need for more incremental and gradual approaches – ones that distribute power in governance systems that are more balanced and integrated with other levels of government. Indeed, these are … Continue reading

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Clarifying Roles of Aboriginal Leaders and their Staff: A Model Governance Policy

DOWNLOAD |   This brief argues that a clean split between political and administrator responsibilities is neither possible nor desirable. Politics and administration are “messily entwined” and for good reasons. A more promising approach, one that is attracting a growing … Continue reading

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Clarifying Roles of Aboriginal Leaders and their Staff: The Perils of a Portfolio System

DOWNLOAD |   There are many understandable reasons why Aboriginal communities prefer a portfolio system. Yet that system comes with a host of potential problems, to the extent that an effective partnership between political leaders and staff occurs only rarely … Continue reading

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Accountability in a Federal State: How Canada Stacks Up

DOWNLOAD |  The concept of accountability between governments takes on a significantly different characterization compared to that of accountability of governments to citizens. To be legitimate and effective in a multi-governance context, accountability loses its hierarchical connotations and takes on … Continue reading

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