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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Finding Dahshaa

Self-Government, Social Suffering, and Aboriginal Policy in Canada

Just as dahshaa – a rare type of dried, rotted spruce wood – is essential to the moosehide-tanning process in Dene culture, self-determination and the alleviation of social suffering are necessary to Indigenous survival in Northwest Territories. But is self-government an effective path to self-determination? Finding Dahshaa shows where self-government negotiations between Canada and the Dehcho, Délînê, and Inuvialuit and Gwich’in peoples have gone wrong and offers, through descriptions of tanning practices that embody principles and values central to self-determination, an alternative model for negotiations. This book, which includes a foreword by Dene National Chief Bill Erasmus, is the first ethnographic study of self-government negotiations in Canada.

216 pages

Table of Contents

Foreword / Bill Erasmus, Dene National Chief


Pronunciation Guide


1 Context and Concepts

2 Tanning Moosehide

3 Dehcho Resource Revenue Sharing

4 Délînê Child and Family Services

5 Inuvialuit and Gwich’in Culture and Language





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