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JSGS 863: Aboriginal Peoples and Public Policy

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Johnson-Shoyama School of Public Policy

JSGS-863: Aboriginal Peoples and Public Policy

Description: Many areas of Canadian public policy are of interest to Aboriginal peoples in Canada, for example governance, land, resources, social policy, environment, international relations, economic development, culture, language, and others. This course attempts to build a basis for understanding key debates in such public policy fields by focusing first on historic legacy of contact between Aboriginal peoples and settler populations. Then we turn to some more contemporary developments, including constitutional negotiations, influential court cases, urbanization, comprehensive claims and self-government. The subject matter for this course is extensive. The course outline is designed to provide an overview to selected topics so that you can do further research and thinking on these themes.

The purpose of the class is to examine the major issues on Aboriginal public policy and to consider the best means of bridging the gaps, political and otherwise, between Aboriginal Canadians and Canadians and large. The class consists of a series of regular meetings, based on the discussion of assigned readings, and daily assignments designed to make students consider public policy options and political choices in this vital field. The discussions will focus on the manuscript of a forthcoming book, Treaty Peoples, written by Greg Poelzer and Ken Coates. This book is designed as an overview of theoretical and conceptual approaches to Aboriginal affairs in Canada and as a discussion starter on practical means of addressing Indigenous and Canadian needs and expectations.

Faculty: Ken Coates

Source: Syllabus downloaded from  on 13 January 2014. , on an intensive basis, through the month of May.  

Teaching Topics Addressed in this Course, Organized by Public Management Subject



Commentary by the Atlas editors: The class titles and the headings in the bibliography in the Syllabus suggest a number of the potential topics to be developed for the Atlas:

  • Indigenous Cultures, Indigenous Issues and Canadian Policy
  • Aboriginal Issues and Political Priorities
  • Identifying Indigenous Peoples’ Priorities
  • Identifying Non-Indigenous Priorities
  • How are Aboriginal People Doing in Canada?
  • International Comparisons of Indigenous Conditions and Policy
  • Political Relationships in Aboriginal Policy
  • Economic Relationships in Aboriginal Policy
  • History of Aboriginal-Newcomer Relations
  • Aboriginal Views on Newcomer Relations
  • Non-Aboriginal Views on Newcomer Relations
  • Aboriginal Self-Government
  • Aboriginal Constitutional and Legal Rights
  • Aboriginal Culture and Language
  • Aboriginal Social, Education and Health Conditions

Page created by: Ian Clark on 13 January 2014. The content presented on this page, except in the Commentary, is drawn directly from the source(s) cited above, and consists of direct quotations or close paraphrases.




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© University of Toronto 2008
School of Public Policy and Governance