Understanding the Impact of Self- Determination on Communities in Crisis

Kiera L. Ladner


Canada is struggling to recast its relationship with Aboriginal peoples in response to massive disparities, mounting resentment, and emerging political realities. The interplay of racism, paternalism and disempowerment has inflicted a serious toll in terms of social, health, economic, and cultural costs. Many Aboriginal people have lost their language and identity, and this spiritual loss is compounded by skyrocketing rates of alcoholism, substance abuse, domestic violence, suicide, diabetes, and heart disease. The need for structural change is broadly acknowledged by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal leaders alike, but they disagree on how to hasten this transformation from colonial subjects to self-determining peoples. Central to most proposals for restructuring is establishing Aboriginal self-government as a basis for healing (Fleras, 1996, p.122).


Self-determination, cultural continuity, Indian Act, political renewal


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)

This work is licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International License

Dalla Lana School of Public Health
University of Toronto
155 College Street, Toronto, Suite 400
Ontario, Canada