Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
The purpose of this thesis is to explore the concept of indigenous self-determination as it is being developed and put into practice by the indigenous peoples and governments of Canada and Australia. Based on a critical comparative analysis of the four most recent and innovative indigenous self-determination initiatives of Canada and Ausffalia - the dismantling of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northem Development (DIAND) initiative and the creation of the Territory and Government of Nunavut in Canada, and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) initiative and the development of responsible territorial government for Torres Strait in Australia - the central argument of this thesis is that Canada and Australia's unique socio-political contexts (defined by indigenous and non-indigenous histories, institutions and cultures) determine how indigenous self-determination is defined, pursued and given a meaning in practice by indigenous peoples and government in the two countries' This thesis concludes that the socio-political context of Canada has permitted a more broadly based and notably more extensive definition, pursuit and meaning in practice of indigenous self-determination than permitted by the socio-political context of Australia. ln Canada, self-determination is directed toward the attainment of self-government with indigenous peoples largely directing the process and non-indigenous peoples generally supportive of this pursuit. In Australia, the pursuit of selfdetermination is directed towards the attainment of self-management with Commonwealth and State governments largely directing the process and non-indigenous Australians generally opposed to this pursuit.
Lochead, Karen, "lndigenous Self-Determination in Canada and Australia" (1998). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6959.
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