The Arctic Promise deals with areas of comparative constitutional law, international law, Aboriginal law, legal anthropology, political science, and international relations, using each to contribute to the understanding of the right to indigenous autonomy.
Nested Federalism and Inuit Governance in the Canadian Arctic traces the political journey toward self-governance taken by three predominantly Inuit regions over the past forty years: Nunavik in northern Québec, the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the western Northwest Territories, and Nunatsiavut in northern Labrador. The Canadian federal system was never designed to recognize Indigenous governance, and it has resisted formal institutional change. But change has come. Indigenous communities have successfully mobilized to negotiate the creation of self-governing regions. Policymakers and politicians have responded by situating almost all these regions politically and institutionally within existing constituent units of the Canadian federation. The varied governance arrangements emerging as a result are forms of nested federalism, a new and largely unexplored model of government that is transforming Canada as it reformulates the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the state.
Across the pages, a portrait of Inuit leadership for the twenty-first century emerges. It is visionary and consensual, brutally honest about the past and optimistic for the future. It is rooted in ancient cultural traditions, yet focused on a future that will define its political and cultural autonomy on the very principles that underscore that culture. It is determined in its will toward self-determination and resolute in its desire to assume control for the creation of knowledge about itself and its people.