Monday, November 25, 2013

No need of a chief for this band: Book

Supporting Aboriginal claims to self-governance
From the review of the book:

"In 1899 the Canadian government passed legislation to replace the appointment of Mi'kmaw leaders and Mi'kmaw political practices with the triennial system, a Euro-Canadian system of democratic band council elections. Officials in Ottawa assumed the federally mandated and supervised system would redefine Mi'kmaw politics. They were wrong.

"Drawing on reports and correspondence of the Department of Indian Affairs, Martha Walls details the rich life of Mi'kmaw politics between 1899 and 1951. She shows that many Mi'kmaw communities rejected, ignored, or amended federal electoral legislation, while others accepted it only sporadically, not in acquiescence to Ottawa's assimilative project but to meet specific community needs and goals. Compelling and timely, this book supports Aboriginal claims to self-governance and complicates understandings of state power by showing that the Mi'kmaw, rather than succumbing to imposed political models, retained political practices that distinguished them from their Euro-Canadian neighbours.