Inuvialuit and Gwich'in Traditional Governance Research Project
Principal Investigator: Irlbacher-Fox, Stephanie (5)
Licence Number: 12999
Organization: Beaufort/Delta Self Government Office
Licenced Year(s): 1998
Issued: Jul 25, 1998
Project Team: Lois Edge (University of Alberta), community researchers in Beaufort Delta region

Objective(s): The Inuvialuit and Gwich'in are currently involved in self government negotiations. An agreement in principle is expected by April, 1999. The Beaufort Delta Self Government Office has conducted fieldwork and survey programs and community workshops to provide information about self government, and to ask people for their feedback and views on self government. In these processes, beneficiaries strongly indicated traditional government processes and structures of both the Inuvialuit and Gwich'in are and should be critical elements of new self governing institutions and processes. This research project involves gathering & documenting comprehensive information from a variety of sources about Inuvialuit & Gwich'in traditional governance. This will facilitate 1) understanding of basic laws & principles used to govern, 2) understanding how Inuvialuit & Gwich'in traditionally determined, transmitted and maintained their laws and systems of governing, 3) understanding how or whether the information gathered may be used to inform the creation and establishment of Inuvialuit & Gwich'in governing structures and processes under self government.

Project Description: This project will involve researching Inuvialuit and Gwich'in traditional governance and how this can be used in shaping self government institutions. To do this research the self government office plans to: 1) hire community development workers in each community, 2) train community development workers in the skills they need to do the research and work on other areas of self government, 3) workers will set up community committees to guide the research, 4) workers will schedule interviews with elders and community residents to talk about how the people governed themselves traditionally, 5) workers will review other materials for more information, 6) workers will work with investigators and the community advisory committee to develop principles, 7) will be reviewed by the community in a community workshop, 8) self government office staff will talk about principles and how they can be used in setting up the new self government institutions.