Evolving governance: a comparative case study explaining positive self-government outcomes for Nunatsiavut government and the Miawpukek First Nation

Merrell, Andrew Robert (2020) Evolving governance: a comparative case study explaining positive self-government outcomes for Nunatsiavut government and the Miawpukek First Nation. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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There are currently 27 indigenous groups with self-government agreements with the Government of Canada, and many more with other types of governance agreements. All have faced lengthy negotiation processes and institutional barriers in achieving success in self-government. Despite increasing interest in the topic, research on the impacts of self-government at the community level is still limited, and relatively little has been written about the evolution of self-government in Newfoundland and Labrador. Scholars and policymakers continue to debate the benefits of self-government. This thesis conducts a comparative analysis of two case studies. The first, Miawpukek First Nation, is a Mi’kmaq community on the island of Newfoundland that resembles a self-governing community in terms of policy but has no formal agreement. The second, Nunatsiavut Government, is based on a formal self-government agreement and serves the Labrador Inuit. The thesis first analyzes the data to demonstrate the statistical benefits of self-government agreements, comparing the data to that of the two cases. The thesis then uses rational choice institutionalist and culturalist institutionalist approaches to analyze findings from 46 semi-structured, elite interviews conducted with residents of the two communities, together with supporting documentation, such as policy studies and media reports. The thesis concludes that the success of both governments in improving outcomes for residents is not a result of formal agreements with the Crown or of access to resource revenues. Instead, the combination of a well-organized, accountable local government, innovative policy initiatives tailored to community needs, and the financial resources to deliver them, is the key to success in governance.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/14567
Item ID: 14567
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 153-165).
Keywords: Governance, Self-government, Indigenous communities, policy outcomes, multilevel governance, corporate governance, land management, resource management
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: April 2020
Date Type: Submission
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.48336/54BR-Q374
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Nunatsiavut--Politics and government; Miawpukek (First Nation)--Politics and government; Intergovernmental cooperation--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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