Scoping Potential for Developing Northern Institutional Policy Capacity: The 2009 Northern Governance Policy Research Conference





Changes in the North’s institutional development — the breadth and scope of the governance responsibilities of public and Indigenous governments — have surpassed Canada’s outdated policy approach to Northern development. Politically, Indigenous peoples have moved from an era of recognitionseeking to an era of political agency vis à vis Canada. They have governments with significant responsibilities, authority, and economic and political capital. Territorial governments have also undergone an era of significant political development which is currently undercut by a federal hold on major elements of economic and political decision-making. However, this conference focused on two elements of overcoming the problem of Northern governments’ being hamstrung by ongoing colonial federal control: the potential for Northern research to contribute to more effective Northern governance and potential ways to promote Northern institutional policy capacity.

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