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Distributed for Purich Publishing

The Dynamics of Native Politics

The Alberta Metis Experience

Historically, Aboriginal people have had little influence on the development of Native policy from within government; as a result political organizations have been established to lobby government on Native peoples’ issues. Using his experience as director of land claims for the Métis Association of Alberta, Joe Sawchuk explains how these Aboriginal organizations began, how they set their political agendas, and how they are influenced by government funding and internal politics. The record of Native political organizations in Canada has been impressive, yet questions remain if government agendas blunts their effectiveness, and how decreases in funding might affect them in the future.

Table of Contents


1. Classification of Nativeness in Canada
Status Indians
Non-Status Indians
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

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

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

6. Politics Within the Metis Association of Alberta
The Metis Political Arena
The Importance of Positions
Interorganizational Rivalry
Politicking at the Assembly

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

8. Rationale for the Existence of Native Organizations
Principles of Organization
Internal Politics
Achieving Po

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