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Framing the Intervention: How Canada Staged its Takeover of the Lubicon Lake Nation Open Access


Other title
First Nation
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
third party management
Custom Election Dispute Resolution Policy
human rights
Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
custom of the band
custom code
custom election dispute
Indian band
traditional territory
leadership dispute
Aboriginal governance
governance dispute
Indian Act
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Bork, Dietlind L R
Supervisor and department
Marko Zivkovic (Anthropology)
Examining committee member and department
Ian Urquhart (Political Science)
Lisa Philips (Anthropology)
Department of Anthropology

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
In 2009, against the backdrop of halted land claim negotiations and increasing oil extraction from Lubicon traditional territory, a challenge was brought against the Lubicon custom election code. The challenge triggered a response from band members, a response later dismissed by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). This thesis presents the resulting situation as an impasse between conceptual frames. On the one hand, the majority of Lubicon people understand the issue of the disputed election code to have been resolved according to Lubicon custom. On the other hand, INAC officials have determined the Lubicon situation to be an ongoing internal leadership dispute, a determination that requires INAC to appoint a third party to manage Lubicon affairs on behalf of the Lubicon people. The thesis examines this intervention, and the consequences for the Lubicon, not as an INAC response to financial default, but as a political response stemming from INAC’s interests.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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