Flanagan; The Great Escape

I’m jumping the gun here. Tom Flanagan’s forthcoming book, Beyond the Indian Act: Restoring Aboriginal Property Rights, will be out next spring (McGill-Queen’s). His co-authors are Christopher Alcantara, and André LeDressay.

It makes the case for developing and extending the First Nations Land Title Recognition Act, a measure already in effect in some jurisdictions, which gives First Nations access to modern, effective property rights while enabling them to retain their autonomy and institutions of self-government.

It not only proposes means to enable Indians to get beyond the Indian Act – and out from under the burden of what Frances Widdowson and Albert Howard call the “Aboriginal Industry” – it shows that schemes for the escape are originating with bold thinkers in the First Nations and credibly locates the crucial decision-making powers  – including the choice whether to escape – at the level of the First Nations governments.

In brief it shows what can be done, and what is being done, to alleviate poverty and the wretched housing conditions on Indian reservations. It might be the most important book on Aboriginal Affairs in Canadian history.

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