Indigenous Governance - Institute on Governance

We are proud of our track record in supporting Indigenous governance, self-determination, community wellbeing, and renewed nation-to-nation relationships.

Explore some of our work as an objective, third-party facilitator of dialogue, policy development, and reconciliation. 

Our work with organizations such as the First Nations Health Authority in British Columbia, the First Nations Financial Management Board, and National Indigenous Organizations (NIOs) on the 2017 Nation-to-Nation dialogues has demonstrated what can be accomplished by taking a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to relationship-building, and supporting Indigenous-led paths to self-determination in transition away from the Indian Act. 

Characteristics of a Nation-to-Nation Relationship Dialogue Series 

In 2017, the Institute on Governance and Canadians for a New Partnership, with the support of a diverse group of sponsors, convened a series of dialogues across Canada to provide an open and respectful forum to articulate the characteristics of this relationship, as defined and perceived by Indigenous leaders, government department, and others with a vested interest in moving the agenda forward. 

The series focused on four themes and culminated in a two-day National Summit:  

  1. Nation Building and Re- Building  
  1. Jurisdiction 
  1. Intergovernmental Fiscal Relationships 
  1. Wealth Creation 
  1. National Summit 

You can watch the full series on YouTube  

In total, approximately 600 people participated in these dialogues, including Indigenous leadership, Crown government representatives and civil society participants. What has emerged is a coherent path for change based on a nation-to- nation relationship that is steeped in building on years of recommendations from other key dialogues and studies, ranging from the Section 35 debates, to Royal Commission findings, to the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action. 

First Nations Governance Project 

The First Nations Financial Management Board (FMB) and the Institute of Governance (IOG), with input from a national Advisory Group of Indigenous and governance leaders, completed the First Nations Governance Project’s Phase I Governance Report. 

According to the Advisory Group, governance in a First Nations context does not exist by itself but rather is one important element of a sustainable community that reflects cultures, as well as traditional values and world views. As well, they advised that any initiative focusing on First Nations governance must be grounded in UNDRIP and must reflect First Nations’ aspirations towards self-determination. 

With this advice, FMB and IOG developed the UNDRIP-responsive Self-Determination and Governance (SDG) Framework, which is further described in Section 3.0 of the Report. The goal of the SDG Framework is to identify the characteristics that form the basis for aligning joint First Nations – Canada initiatives in a manner that is comprehensive, holistic, and does not give rise to either-or, preferential, or sequential debates. Simply put, success in any one area depends on success in all. 
Watch our Gov Talk on the report and framework

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