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The Dynamics of Native Politics: The Alberta Metis Experience

Price: $ 26.00 Back

Joe Sawchuk

192 pages, index, bibliography, paper, 6 x 9, winter 1998
ISBN 1-895830-09-5 / ISBN13 978-1895830-095


This is not a book for recreational reading. But if you would like to get a picture of the native political organizations and their complex relationships with provincial and federal governments, this is a good book to start with. - The Prairie Messenger

The Metis land claims are now coming into their own and Professor Sawchuk gives us a quick overview as to matters we must understand in order to deal with the same. - Ronald MacIsaac, The Verdict

1.    Classification of Nativeness in Canada 
        Status Indians
        Inuit
        Non-Status Indians
        Metis
        The Process of Ethno-Aboriginality
2.    Native Political Organizations in Canada
        A Listing of Native Organizations
        The Structure of Native Organizations
        An Analysis of Native Organizations
        Summary
3.    The Metis Association of Alberta
        Early Metis Political Organizations in Alberta
        The Beginnings of the Metis Association of Alberta
        The Supplanting of the Metis Association of Alberta
        A Period of Revitalization
        The Advent of Government Funding
        The Federation of Metis Settlements
        The Metis Association of Alberta
        The Metis Nation of Alberta
4.    Native Organizations and the Federal Government
        The Source of Federal Indian Policy
        Nation to Nation or Client to Patron?
        Native Organizations and Federal Funding
        Reciprocity in the Patron-Client Relationship
        The Pervasiveness of the Patron-Client Relationship
        Summary
5.    Native Organizations and Provincial Governments
        Sources of Provincial Indian Policies
        Alberta's Indian Policy
        Implications of Provincial Funding
        Partisan Politics and Tutelage
        Land Claims
        Natural Resources
        Federal and Provincial Governments Compared
        Summary
6.    Politics Within the Metis Association of Alberta
        The Metis Political Arena
        The Importance of Positions
        Interorganizational Rivalry
        Elections
        Voters
        Politicking at the Assembly
        Summary
7.    An Analysis of Power Within the Metis Association of Alberta
        A Model of Resource Dependence
        Money as Power
        Programs as Power
        Personnel as Power
        Technical Knowledge as Power
        Summary
8.    Rationale for the Existence of Native Organizations
        Principles of Organization
        Internal Politics
        Achieving Political Goals
        Where Do We Go From Here?
References
Index


Historically, Aboriginal people have had little influence on the development of Native policy from within government. As a result, national, provincial, and regional Native political organizations have developed to lobby government on Native peoples issues.

Joe Sawchuk defines the various native groups in Canada and examines the origins of the organizations which represent them. He examines the structure of the organizations, their relationship with government, and the way in which power is consolidated within the organizations themselves.

Many non-Native structures pervade Native, and especially Metis, political organizations. Using examples from his experience as director of land claims for the Metis Association of Alberta in the early 1980's, Sawchuk illustrates how Aboriginal organizations set their political agendas, and how federal and provincial funding and internal politics influence those agendas.

The record of Native political organizations in Canada has been impressive. The questions now are how their structures affect their ability to represent an Aboriginal point of view, whether government funding blunts their effectiveness, and how decreases in funding might affect them in the future.

Joe Sawchuk is an anthropologist. He has worked as a consultant for various Aboriginal organizations and has taught anthropology at the University of Toronto and at Memorial University. He currently teaches Native Studies at Brandon University. He is the author of The Metis of Manitoba: Reformulation of an Ethnic Identity, co-author of Metis Land Rights in Alberta: A Political History, and has written numerous articles.

Used in Native Studies courses at many universities and colleges across Canada.

Price: $ 26.00 Back

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