The District of Sechelt, British Columbia and the Municipal System of Aboriginal Self-Government
The purpose of this paper was, in exploring the details of the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act and the powers it entails, to ascertain whether or not the Municipal Model represents a viable and successful option toward Aboriginal self-government. In this paper I examined the extent to which certain key provisions of the Sechelt Act align with the traditional goals of Aboriginal self-government to gauge its usefulness to Aboriginal groups. I performed this by first exploring the concept of Right and Title, its implications and the resulting powers which self-governing bands must possess to satisfy the provisions of Right and Title. I then used these criteria to establish a basic ‘report card’ against which the Municipal Model’s efficacy can be gauged through comparison with the provisions of the Sechelt Act. I found that not only does the Sechelt Act satisfy all vital criteria for an effective selfgovernment agreement, but that the Municipal Model name is itself a misnomer for a far wider package of rights and responsibilities than those given to municipalities. I conclude that the Sechelt Indian Band Self- Government Act is a highly effective iteration of the Municipal Model, contrary to criticism, and that the model’s success merits consideration as a viable Aboriginal self-government solution for future cases.
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