Religion, Land and Democracy in Canadian Indigenous-State Relations
MetadataShow full item record
Many indigenous communities perceive an intimate connection between land and religion, and land has, and continues to remain, at the heart of indigenous-state relations. This dissertation examines how philosophies of land and religion in correlation with histories of dispossession and differentiation contribute to socio-political structures that threaten the religious freedom of Aboriginal peoples and the very existence of indigenous religious traditions, cultures, and sacred sites in Canada today. Through a political-philosophical approach to ethical concerns of justice as fairness, national minorities’ rights, and religious freedom, I examine court decisions, legislation, and official protocols that shape contemporary indigenous-state relations. I identify philosophical and structural issues preventing Canada from protecting the fundamental rights guaranteed to indigenous peoples and all Canadians. More specifically, I examine the historical manifestations of concepts of land and religion in philosophies of colonization, emphasizing their effects in contemporary indigenous-state relations. I analyze the impacts of secularization, socio-economic expansion, and the dispossession of Aboriginal traditional lands on the protection of indigenous cultural rights and off-reserve sacred sites. Based on this analysis, I discuss communicative democratic theory and the potential benefits and limitations of the “Duty to Consult and Accommodate”—the most recent framework for indigenous-state relations—for the protection of indigenous religious traditions and the importance of the inclusion of indigenous peoples in administrative and decision-making processes. Finally, I explore indigenous representation, religious revitalization and the politics of authenticity, authority, diversity and cultural change.
Cite this version of the work
Nicholas Shrubsole (2013). Religion, Land and Democracy in Canadian Indigenous-State Relations. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/7551