New forms of aboriginal governance

For the first time in Canada, the most prominent researchers and First Nations representatives, from all disciplines related to the study of aboriginal issues, have come together to discuss the aboriginal question. The Indigenous Peoples and Governance Team of the Centre de recherche en droit public has taken on the mission of exploring new forms of aboriginal governance. 

Directed by Karim Benyekhlef from Université de Montréal, this research team proposes a new look at relations between aboriginal and Canadian societies, to ensure that new governance models do not bear the mark of past domination. The project is serving as a bridge between the various aboriginal representative authorities: the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, Quebec native Women, Makivik Corporation, the Avataq Cultural Institute, the Indigenous Bar Association, Chiefs of Ontario, National Centre First Nations Governance and Manitoba Metis Federation. 

The discussions and research address three aspects of the aboriginal question. The first concerns the current social, economic and cultural conditions of aboriginal power, and is based on the recognition of cultural specificity, the organization of political power, conditions of economic autonomy and the management of social conflict. 

The second aspect relates to the paradigmatic foundations of current and future aboriginal legal orders, from an intellectual, normative, identity-based and cosmological perspective. Finally, the third aspect involves the study of the current and future intellectual and normative foundations of relationships between aboriginal and non-aboriginal societies. The political and cultural aspects of intercommunity relations are addressed through an analysis of federalism, the system of citizenship and policies for recognition between communities. 

This work has led to the publication of a collective work entitled Gouvernance autochtone : reconfiguration d'un avenir collectif – Nouvelles perspectives et processus émergents in June 2010. The research group has created an online information platform on which the latest news and scientific activities are presented.


Équipe de recherche Peuples autochtones et gouvernance


Karim Benyekhlef, Université de Montréal

Regular members

  • Vincent Gautrais, Université de Montréal 
  • Simon Marcotte, Ministère de la Justice Québec 
  • Pierre Trudel, Université de Montréal 
  • André Wery, Cour supérieure du Québec