Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1995


Published in Great Plains Research 5:2 (Fall 1995). Copyright © 1995 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


Months after Canada's most violent modern-day confrontation with Aboriginal peoples, the month-long standoff between Mohawk "Warriors" and Canadian troops at Kahnesatake, Quebec, in August 1990, the Conservative Government of Brian Mulroney announced the appointment of a Royal Commission to make recommendations for the complete overhaul of Aboriginal policy. Five years, hundreds of hearings and academic studies, and $C60 million later, the Royal Commission has yet to make its report. Jean Chretien's Liberal Government has already announced that it has its own program for Aboriginal "self-government," hinting that the long-awaited Royal Commission findings will be dead-on-arrival. The corpse will not be entirely without historical and scientific interest, however, since it includes summaries of several national "round tables" in which leading Aboriginal activists and scholars offered their own strategic self-assessments. Two of them are the subject of this review.