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Indigenous governance tools for exerting sovereignty over traditional territory: A case study of mineral development in the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc territory

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With an increasingly political and adversarial environment developing in British Columbian resource sectors, this research critiques the usefulness of tools that can be employed by Indigenous governments to assert sovereignty over decisions regarding resource development on their territories. The purpose of this research is to consider the different legal, socio-political, supra regulatory and self-governance tools available in the case of the Stk’emlupsemc te Secwepemc Nation as they make management decisions over mineral development in their traditional territory located in the interior of British Columbia. This insight is particularly important for Indigenous communities in Canada that are considering their options regarding resource development as a path to self-autonomy and self-governance over their territory, resources and economies. As Canada moves towards a relationship built on the precept of reconciliation, it is imperative that resource development decision-making processes increase community capacity, agency, and self-governance, while incorporating indigenous traditions, values and laws.
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