Article Title

Indigenous Rights and Multilevel Governance: Learning From the Northwest Territories Water Stewardship Strategy


States’ increasing recognition of Indigenous rights in the realm of natural resources has led to a variety of co-management arrangements and other forms of melded authority, evolving over time into increasingly complex governance relationships. This article takes up such relationships within the analytical frame of multilevel governance, seeking lessons from the experiences of Indigenous involvement in water policy in Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT). It examines the way that effective collaboration in resource governance can emerge within the space of tension between evolving Indigenous rights regimes and the continued sovereignty of the state. At the same time, the analysis raises questions about whether multilevel governance can contribute to meaningful decolonization of relationships between settler states and Indigenous Peoples.


The author would like to thank the participants in the research for their time, especially representatives of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and the members of the Aboriginal Steering Committee. The research was supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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