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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

No need of a chief for this band

The Maritime Mi’kmaq and Federal Electoral Legislation, 1899-1951

In 1899 the Canadian government passed legislation to replace the community 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. Many Mi'kmaw communities rejected or amended the legislation, while others accepted it only sporadically 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.

216 pages

Table of Contents


1 The Mi’kmaw World in 1900
2 Continuity and Change in Mi’kmaw Politics to 1899
3  The Origins of the Triennial Band Council System
4 Federal Interference and Political Persistence in Mi’kmaw Communities
5 The Limits of Triennial Elections



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