Indigenous Rights and Governance in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

Kirsty Gover

in Political Science

ISBN: 9780199756223
Published online November 2011 | | DOI:
Indigenous Rights and Governance in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand

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Indigenous rights are now a core part of the constitutional frameworks of the western settler states, including Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. The recognition of specific group rights for indigenous peoples raises complex challenges for the political and legal theory of the liberal democracies. Notwithstanding the significant constitutional and historical differences between these three states, in the past several decades, all have embarked on processes of land claims settlement and official recognition of indigenous peoples. The resulting arrangements are designed to protect the distinctive identities of indigenous peoples, to give effect to historic agreements, and to restore indigenous rights to property, territory, and self-governance. Legal mechanisms include those giving effect to common-law aboriginal title rights, cultural rights and exemptions, self-governance rights, special representation rights, and nondiscrimination rights. In Canada and New Zealand, but not Australia, some indigenous rights are premised on historic treaties. Recognized indigenous rights are expressed in various provisions of public legislation (including, in Canada, the Constitution Act), in indigenous-state agreements on land claims and self-governance, in formal and informal agreements on local governance, and in official apologies. Literature on indigenous rights includes a small but important body of political theory exploring and critiquing the application of theories of cultural pluralism, a large field of secondary legal literature on country-specific arrangements, comparative work considering matters of transnational application in the western settler states, and a sizable body of work on anthropological and cultural theories of indigeneity. This bibliography is intended to provide a sample of commentary to guide researchers in forays into the rapidly developing field of indigenous rights and indigenous governance. There is a vast and growing body of commentary on the legal and political status of indigenous communities in the western settler states. This collection cannot hope to be comprehensive. The emphasis of this selection is on secondary legal sources and analysis and does not include reference to cases or legislation. Wherever possible, comparative works have been included, to show the development of transnational law and policy on indigenous peoples and the sharing of concepts across legal jurisdictions. Likewise, the bibliography has been designed to emphasize works on indigenous laws and institutions, and commentary by indigenous commentators.

Article.  11217 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Institutions ; Political Methodology ; Political Theory

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