As many Indigenous communities return to self-governance and self-determination, they are taking their own approaches to property rights and community development. Based on case studies in four Indigenous communities – the Westbank, Membertou, Nisga’a, and James Bay Cree nations – Jamie Baxter traces how local leaders have set the course for land rights and development during formative periods of legal and economic upheaval. Drawing on new research about institutional change in organizational settings, Baxter explores when and how community leaders have sustained inalienable land rights without turning to either persuasion or coercive force – the two levers of power normally associated with political leadership.
Inalienable Properties challenges the view that liberalized land markets are the inevitable result of legal and economic change. It shows how inalienability can result from intentional choices and is linked to structures of decision-making that have long-lasting consequences for communities.
1 Keeping the Land, Making the Market
2 Property Stories
3 Leaders and Land Reform
4 Save or Sell?
5 Ideas and Interests in Uncertain Times
6 The Future of Inalienable Properties
Notes; Bibliography; Index
Jamie Baxter is an associate professor at the Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University, where he writes and teaches about land, food and agriculture, local government, and political economy.
Baxter provides a useful summary of this history and the current state of these regimes - not an easy feat given such a complex history and diverse political geography.
~Jonathon Boron, Simon Fraser University, BC Studies Issue 209