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Strengthening the ties that bind? An analysis of aboriginal–municipal inter-governmental agreements in British Columbia

Authors


  • Jen Nelles is a post-doctoral fellow, Fonds National de la Recherche Luxembourg. Christopher Alcantara is assistant professor, Department of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University. A first draft of this article was presented at the annual meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, Concordia University, Montreal, 1–3 June 2010. The authors would like to thank their discussant, Ian Peach, and the members of the audience for their helpful questions, comments and advice. They would also like to thank the editor and the anonymous reviewers of this journal for providing useful suggestions for improving the manuscript.

Abstract

Abstract: Despite a rich and well-developed literature on Canadian federalism, multilevel governance, and aboriginal–settler relations, scholars have tended to ignore the variety of inter-governmental agreements that have emerged between aboriginal and municipal governments in Canada. This article examines ninety-three such agreements to construct a typology of aboriginal–municipal inter-governmental partnerships in British Columbia. It finds that over time there has been a shift from mundane, service-provision agreements towards more collaborative, cooperative and sometimes decolonizing, horizontal and multilevel governance partnerships. As a result, the authors suggest that scholars study these agreements to further explain and understand the evolution of aboriginal–settler relations and multilevel governance in Canada.

Abstract

Sommaire : Malgré une documentation abondante et très approfondie sur le fédéralisme canadien, le système de gouvernance multi-niveaux, et les relations entre les Autochtones et les colons, les universitaires ont eu tendance à ignorer la variété des ententes intergouvernementales qui ont vu le jour entre les gouvernements autochtones et les administrations municipales au Canada. Le présent article examine quatre-vingt-treize ententes afin d'établir une typologie des partenariats intergouvernementaux entre les Autochtones et les administrations municipales en Colombie-Britannique. Il met en évidence qu'au fil du temps, on a assistéà un changement d'orientation, en passant d'ententes prosaïques de prestation de services à des partenariats de gouvernance horizontaux et multi-niveaux impliquant davantage de collaboration, de coopération et parfois de la décolonisation. Par conséquent, les auteurs proposent aux universitaires d'étudier ces ententes afin de mieux expliquer et comprendre l'évolution des relations entre Autochtones et colons et le système de gouvernance multi-niveaux au Canada.

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