Engaging politically with the principles of indigeneity is neither an option nor a cop out. The emergence of Indigenous peoples as prime-time players on the world’s political stage attests to the timeliness and relevance of indigeneity in advancing a new postcolonial contract for living together differently. Insofar as the principles of indigeneity are inextricably linked with challenge, resistance, and transformation, this paper argues that reference to indigeneity as policy(- making) paradigm is both necessary and overdue. To put this argument to the test, the politics of Maori indigeneity in Aotearoa New Zealand are analyzed and assessed in constructing an indigeneity agenda model. The political implications of an indigeneity-policy nexus are then applied to the realities of Canada’s Indigenous/Aboriginal peoples. The paper contends that, just as the Government is committed to a gender based analysis (GBA) for improving policy outcomes along gender lines, so too should the principles of indigeneity (or aboriginality) secure an indigeneity grounded analysis (IGA) framework for minimizing systemic policy bias while maximizing Indigenous peoples inputs. The paper concludes by theorizing those provisional first principles that inform an IGA framework as a policy (-making) lens.


A revised version of this invited paper was presented to the Aboriginal Peoples Research Conference, Ottawa, 9 March 2009

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