Aboriginal Governance: Administrative Decision-Making in the Mackenzie Valley

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, politics, governance, decision making, law

Principal Investigator: Graben, Sari (1)
Licence Number: 14262
Organization: Osgoode Hall Law School - York University
Licenced Year(s): 2007
Issued: Nov 08, 2007

Objective(s): The objective of this research is to examine resource decision-making processes associated with proposals submitted to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board.

Project Description: It is the investigator’s hope that this research will lead to an improved understanding of co-management decision-making as a process which is distinct in the law. It is hoped that this research will contribute to a richer understanding of administrative law that will better support the goals of co-management.

The objective of this research is to examine resource decision-making processes associated with proposals submitted to the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board. In particular, this research questions whether the legal treatment of co-management boards as similar to other administrative boards overlooks the significance of such institutions. The main objective of this research is to provide a legal perspective on the dynamics of governance within administrative institutions, with a specific focus on co-management boards. Consequently, the perspective of board members on co- management as an administrative institution would be very helpful to this research because their role in the task of resource management is not well accounted for in the law. More specifically, their experience with co-management boards as an administrative agency, how decisions are generated, and how co-management works and could operate better would be essential for a complete legal analysis.

The main research methods will include interviews with persons affiliated with the co-management board and may potentially include participant observation at meetings. The participants will be board members, government employees, or employees of the co-management agencies. Formal interviews will be recorded and transcribed (with participant's consent), and copies of the recordings will be provided to interview participants. Data collected as a result of participant observation activities will be logged in a field journal. The research equipment will include a computer, a tape recorder, and a field journal. All research participants will be
informed about the objectives and design of the research prior to being interviewed. The researcher will obtain written consent for research from each participating board member or staff prior to being interviewed. Copies of any reports or publications written as a result of this research will be provided to the administrative bodies and the participants and an opportunity to review and comment. Research will be conducted in November 2007 within the municipal boundaries of Yellowknife.

After compiling and analyzing the results, presentations of the analysis will be made at the relevant board meetings and a written report will be provided to interested individuals and boards. The project may provide greater insight into the goals of the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board as compared to other administrative agencies. It may provide a greater understanding of the purpose of co-management boards, as compared to other administrative agencies. This understanding may lead to positive changes in legal analysis of co-management decisions and greater support for power sharing initiatives.

The researcher will fly to Yellowknife and conduct interviews with persons associated with the Mackenzie Valley Environmental Impact Review Board. This Board has its offices in Yellowknife, NT.

Fieldwork will be conducted from November 12 to 16, 2007 in Yellowknife, NT.