The Politics of Knowledge in Policy Analysis


From a politics of assimilation to a politics of recognition (Coulthard, 2007), within and as a result of state policies, Canada’s Indigenous peoples and Indigenous knowledge systems are in a better position to contribute to public policy processes. Unfortunately, reflecting the power imbalance in our policy-making system, Indigenous people tend to be receivers of government policies instead of contributors to public policy (Abele, 2006). Furthermore, there is little to no evidence that Indigenous knowledge systems have received meaningful inclusion in public policy development, especially outside of lands and resources policy (Dudgeon and Berkes, 2003). As a result, public policy discourse in Canada has been and continues to be shaped and dominated by Western perspectives, which hold to a colonial model of governance and policy making (Graham et al., 1996).

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