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Christopher Alcantara

Dr. Alcantara's main research interests are in the fields of Indigenous-settler relations and politics, territorial governance in the Canadian north, federalism and multilevel governance, public policy and administration, and more recently (and much to his surprise!), voting behaviour.

He has written two books, Negotiating the Deal: Comprehensive Land Claims Agreements in Canada (UTP: 2013) and Beyond the Indian Act: Restoring Aboriginal Property Rights (MQUP: 2010). He has published papers in Canadian Journal of Political Science, Canadian Journal of Women and the Law, Canadian Public Administration, Canadian Public Policy, Electoral Studies, Public Choice, Publius: Journal of Federalism, Regional and Federal Studies, and Urban Affairs Review, among others.

His research was a finalist for the Donner Prize in 2011 and the McMenemy Prize in 2013 and has won the J.E. Hodgetts Award for best article in the journal, Canadian Public Administration, and the David Watson Memorial Award for "the paper published in the Queen's Law Journal judged to make the most significant contribution to legal scholarship.”

A Quiet Evolution: The Emergence of Indigenous-Local Intergovernmental Partnerships in Canada
Format: Hardcover
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian;
Grade Levels: University/College;

Much of the coverage surrounding the relationship between Indigenous communities and the Crown in Canada has focused on the federal, provincial, and territorial governments. Yet it is at the local level where some of the most important and significant partnerships are being made between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

In A Quiet Evolution, Christopher Alcantara and Jen Nelles look closely at hundreds of agreements from across Canada and at four case studies drawn from Ontario, Quebec, and Yukon Territory to explore relationships between Indigenous and local governments. By analyzing the various ways in which they work together, the authors provide an original, transferable framework for studying any type of intergovernmental partnership at the local level. Timely and accessible, A Quiet Evolution is a call to politicians, policymakers and citizens alike to encourage Indigenous and local governments to work towards mutually beneficial partnerships.

Authentic Canadian Content

Beyond the Indian Act
Format: Paperback
Text Content Territories: Indigenous Canadian; First Nations;

While land claims made by Canada's aboriginal peoples continue to attract attention and controversy, there has been almost no discussion of the ways in which First Nations lands are managed and the property rights that have been in place since the Indian Act of 1876. Beyond the Indian Act looks at these issues and questions whether present land practices have benefited Canada's aboriginal peoples. Challenging current laws and management, this illuminating work proposes the creation of a new system that would allow First Nations to choose to have full ownership of property, both individually and collectively.

The authors not only investigate the current forms of property rights on reservations but also expose the limitations of each system, showing that customary rights are insecure, certificates of possession cannot be sold outside the First Nation, and leases are temporary. As well, analysis of legislation, court decisions, and economic reports reveals that current land management has led to unnecessary economic losses. The authors propose creation of a First Nations Property Ownership Act that would make it possible for First Nations to take over full ownership of reserve lands from the Crown, arguing that permitting private property on reserves would provide increased economic advantages.

An engaging and well-reasoned book, Beyond the Indian Act is a bold argument for a new system that could improve the quality of life for First Nations people in communities across the country.

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