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

By Dan Russell

Written through a training Aboriginal legal professional, this e-book argues that Aboriginal self-government in Canada could most sensible be completed through a constitutional modification, no longer via treaties, as has been the preoccupation of provincial governments considering that 1982.

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94 The Laguna communities have highways, schools, health centres, churches, and commercial centres with an assortment of industries. The mining of uranium, carried out through leases with both tribal and nontribal businesses, is a significant source of local income together with tribal enterprises such as an electronics plant. These communities exist in much the same manner as do small Canadian communities. They possess a cultural vigour drawn from their people, but like many other small communities they are subject to the whims of an uncertain marketplace.

State jurisdiction was prohibited unless federal authority clearly permitted it. For years, these principles served tribal governments well. These governments asserted their civil jurisdiction to regulate both Indians and non-Indians alike while on a reservation. The tribe’s authority concerning Indians was never seriously challenged,38 and the recent case of Iowa Mutual Insurance Company v. LaPlante39 reaffirmed tribal jurisdiction over non-Indians. ”40 Thus, unlike criminal law activities, tribal authority over non-Indians regarding civil law matters was confirmed.

When political scientists have asked why any government should have the right to impose laws or obligations on its citizens or, for that matter, why these citizens should comply, a contractual theory is often offered in reply. Political philosophers such as Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and, more recently, John Rawls have all tendered a theory of “social contract” to explain their respective ideas concerning a government’s balancing of personal obligations with individual rights.

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