This in-depth, interview-based study was commissioned by Membertou Chief and Council and the Membertou Governance Committee, and funded by the Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program to investigate methods by which Membertou First Nation can further increase its decision-making power over economic development. Membertou has made significant economic strides but increasingly struggles against the limits of Canada’s Indian Act, especially in terms of land management. Without a well understood, reliable, and transactionally efficient land regime, the First Nation cannot achieve its community development goals. In fact, recent experiences with commercial and residential development have underscored the insufficiency of Indian Act protocols and the limits on “work-arounds” Membertou has used to avoid those protocols. A wholly new approach is needed.
Starks, Rachel, Esther Tulk, Tamara Young, Mary Beth Doucette, Trevor Bernard, and Cheryl Knockwood. 2013. Managing Land, Governing for the Future: Finding the Path Forward for Membertou. Dartmouth: Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat.