In Search of Common Ground: Reconciling Western-based Governance Principles and First Nations Traditions

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Author: Jodi Bruhn

Prompted by the spirit of the new Truth and Reconciliation Commission, soon beginning its work in examining the legacy of the residential school system, this paper seeks to begin to reconcile the governance principles espoused by the Institute On Governance (following the UNDP) with Aboriginal governance traditions. After discussing fundamental elements of governance and good governance (I) it presents the Institute’s five governance principles (II), then probes their origins of the principles in international human rights law, Western political theory and Western historical experience (III). The paper explores some possible First Nations governance principles (IV), suggesting that the two, though distinct, are converging and in fact might complement and correct each other (V). The paper concludes with some thoughts on the requirements of genuine reconciliation.

About the author

Institute on Governance

Institute on Governance

Founded in 1990, the Institute on Governance (IOG) is an independent, Canada-based, not-for-profit public interest institution with its head office in Ottawa and an office in Toronto. Our mission is ‘advancing better governance in the public interest,’ which we accomplish by exploring, developing and promoting the principles, standards and practices which underlie good governance in the public sphere, both in Canada and abroad.

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