Regulation is an essential component of modern public governance; however, the environment in which Canada’s regulatory regimes must function is undergoing fundamental change. In particular, new and powerful players, such as First Nations and business, are becoming actively involved. Carleton University’s Regulatory Governance Initiative (RGI) seeks to have a direct impact on enhancing the effectiveness of regulations. With a focus on regulatory policy, governance and management, the RGI adopts a holistic and problem-driven approach. The RGI’s Critical Conversation event series aims to push the boundaries of current thinking on policy and regulation around current challenging issues by bringing together representatives of First Nation communities, business, government and academia to have the discussions about regulation that we need to have, but rarely do. On May 5, 2015, the RGI hosted a Critical Conversation on First Nations and Regulatory Regimes. 

“It’s very tough to talk about getting rid of the Indian Act when there is no consensus. You can’t just get rid of something and leave a legislative vacuum. So the role I’ve tended to play is one of advocating changes a step at a time and making sure that we have the jurisdiction within our reserve lands and within our traditional territories.”  Chief Manny Jules

“Going back to 1989, what we were experiencing at home where I’m from in Nipissing …. we were losing opportunities because we were moving so slow under the confines of the Indian Act…opportunities to partner, opportunities to create some revenue, create some job opportunities, and create opportunities where we could start to retain some of our youth.” Philip Goulais

“Over the last couple of decades, we’ve really seen this renaissance in terms of the establishment of governance regimes, the re-establishment of institutions – whether it’s health care, land management, fiscal institutions, taxation institutions, child welfare – and we see a number of communities that are doing really well in Canada. So when we put that equation in place: Does greater regulatory reform…does greater self-government equal well-being? I think we are getting the seed of the sense that this is true.” Bob Watts

Critical Conversation Resources