A People’s Dream: Aboriginal Self-Government in Canada by Dan Russell

By Dan Russell

Written by way of a training Aboriginal attorney, this booklet argues that Aboriginal self-government in Canada may most sensible be accomplished through a constitutional modification, no longer via treaties, as has been the preoccupation of provincial governments because 1982.

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Hence, the values imparted by these lessons are similarly different from those of Eurocentric systems. When one appreciates the many differences of a tribal community, it should not be too surprising that familiar languages, customs, and particularly value systems strongly motivate tribal members to cherish their unique expressions of self-government. Tribal Forms of Justice Court structures vary from tribe to tribe. Some tribes, such as the Laguna Pueblo, have both full-time and part-time judges.

87 They also authorized the retrocession of any jurisdiction already assumed by the state. Congressional enactment of the Indian Business Development Fund88 and the Indian Financing Act,89 both of which stimulated tribal business development, occurred in 1968. As well, the Native American Progress Act90 and the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act91 have been viewed as clear indications that congressional attempts to terminate tribal governments had ended. As mentioned, neither the termination policies nor Public Law 280 had any direct effect on the principles of jurisdiction as articulated in the Cherokee Nation cases and their progeny.

The natural questions that followed upon Williams were: “Are there any areas in which a state might wish to legislate regarding non-Indian activity that don’t infringe on essential tribal interests? ” Although the infringement test is not as all-encompassing a prohibition as is enunciated in Worcester, it has nevertheless been highly effective in barring the exercise of a state’s jurisdiction. Williams v. Lee has been used to reaffirm tribal authority and to exclude state jurisdiction in a long list of cases.

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