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Guaranteed Aboriginal Representation in Parliament

I've been fascinated with the idea of providing guaranteed seats in parliament for Aboriginal peoples ever since I visited New Zealand a few years ago.  There, Maori people have had guaranteed representation since 1867.  With increased discussions on electoral reform and "reducing the democratic deficit," it may now be time to pursue such a system in Canada.

Below is a discussion paper I had prepared on this topic.

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Guaranteed Parliamentary Representation for Aboriginal Peoples

Executive Summary

This paper examines the experience of a variety of jurisdictions around the world that have provided some form of guaranteed representation for aboriginal peoples.  New Zealand , Scandinavia, the USA , Australia and several other jurisdictions are briefly discussed.  It then outlines the options for pursuing this in a Canadian situation.  Only those options that might be pursued without an amendment to the Constitution Act 1982 are considered.  The four options described include promoting aboriginal majority constituencies using the current electoral system, a process for creating aboriginal electoral districts (AEDs) as described by the Lortie commission, the provision of guaranteed seats as in New Zealand and the creation of a separate Aboriginal Parliament.

Finally, a process for advancing the issue is described.  Consultation with aboriginal organizations, seeking Senatorial allies and the drafting of workable legislation are all discussed.

 The International Experience

New Zealand is the best-known example of guaranteed representation for aboriginal peoples.  The Treaty of Waitangi, signed in 1840, was the basis for the Maori Representation Act 1867, which guaranteed Maori four seats in the New Zealand Parliament.  Originally designed as a temporary measure (10 years), the Act was renewed several times before being made a permanent part of the electoral process.  Guaranteed representation has been criticized by both non-Maori and Maori alike both for being racially based preference and for ghettoizing Maori politicians and limiting their ability to effect real change.  It should be noted that Maori represent 14.5% of the New Zealand population (the comparable figure for aboriginal peoples in Canada is 3.5%) but their four seats represented only 3.3% of Parliament.  Historically, few Maori have been elected in non-guaranteed seats, similar to the experience of aboriginal people in Canada . 

Despite these criticisms and a recommendation for abolition by their own electoral reform commission, Maori seats were retained when the country reformed its electoral system to adopt proportional representation in 1996.  Most Maori leaders view the guaranteed seats as vitally important, both practically and symbolically, as a way of implementing the Treaty of Waitangi in a modern context.  The majority of non-Maori New Zealanders also support the continuation of these seats to provide for racial and social justice in the country.

Another change brought about in 1996 was to tie the number of guaranteed seats to the number of Maori who chose to register on the special Maori electoral role rather than on the general role.  (Two voter lists exist for New Zealand elections – the Maori role and the general role.  Maori may register for one or the other but not both.  Before 1996, Maori often chose to register for the general role in an effort to increase their chances for representation in parliament.)  The number of guaranteed seats could thus rise (or fall) depending on the size of the special role.  In 1996, five seats were guaranteed and this increased to six in 1999.  However, because of the introduction of proportional representation and the creation of specific Maori parties, the actual representation of Maori in Parliament increased to 15 in both elections – close to their actual representation in the population.

Scandinavia ( Finland , Sweden and Norway ) have also provided for special representation of Sami people in their Parliamentary system.  (The northern Sami represent less than 1% of the population of each country.)  However, none of these countries created seats within the central Parliament.  Rather, they established separate Sami “Parliaments.”  Although there was some variation between the three countries, all of these aboriginal bodies were created as advisory.  They have little or no legislative authority and not much in the way of budget either.

The Sami Parliaments were established in Finland , Norway and Sweden in 1973, 1987 and 1992 respectively.  All three bodies are responsible for making non-binding recommendations to their respective national governments on matters affecting Sami people such as hunting, reindeer herding, language and culture.  The Finnish body also appoints some representatives to various national and public Boards.  In Sweden , the Sameting as it is called, also is authorized to disburse some funds in Sami areas for public purposes, may direct Sami language programs and appoint a board to govern Sami education.

The United States , where aboriginal peoples make up about 0.9% of the population, has not generally provided for aboriginal representation in federal or state legislatures with the notable exception of Maine (discussed below).  Indian Tribes are legally regarded as ‘sovereign domestic nations’ with limited, but significant, powers over reservation lands.  Aboriginal title is recognized but, in many cases, has been deemed to be extinguished either by treaty or legislative act.  Some discussions have been held with Congress about creating special legislative seats for aboriginal nations similar to those that currently exist for dependent territories such as the U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico .  These representatives have most of the rights to speak and participate as other Representatives but have limited voting rights.  Since 1993, when the US Congress apologized for the American involvement in the illegal overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy, there have been on-again off-again discussions of how sovereignty could be restored to Hawaiian aboriginals who make up 20% of the state’s population.

Maine already has such a system in place in its own legislature.  Special representatives to the Maine legislature from local First Nations date back to at least 1823.  A formal guaranteed seat was provided to each of the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy tribes in 1866 and 1927 respectively.  Although this was discontinued in 1941, it was reinstated in 1975 and continues to this day.  Indians of these tribes may vote for both their guaranteed representative as well as in the constituency they live in.  However, Indian delegates may not introduce or vote on legislation in the State Legislature, but generally have all the other rights and privileges of members, including the right to debate and to vote in committee.

Australia has been slow to recognize or act on aboriginal rights although aboriginal people make up about 2% of its population.  It was only in 1992 that the Supreme Court rejected the concept of terra nullius – that is, that Australia was ‘empty’ prior to the arrival of Europeans – and recognized aboriginal title at common law.  Some years earlier in 1976, the Australian government had established the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (the ATSIC is a body elected by aboriginal people) to address numerous problems faced by Aborigines and to consider outstanding aboriginal claims.  After 1992, the Commission recommended some form of Aboriginal representation in Parliament and other elected bodies but this has not been acted upon.  The current Australian prime minister has flatly rejected the concept.

Australia does have one interesting aspect to its approach.  ATSIC has significant administrative functions and has for the most part taken over all the programs previously operated by the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs – the Australian equivalent of DIAND.

India, Pakistan and Malaysia all provide for guaranteed representation for specific tribes and castes – generally in geographically remote areas that have aboriginal populations separate from the dominant culture of the country – either through guaranteed electoral seats or mechanisms to appoint members to legislative bodies.  In some cases these areas have also been granted limited self-government.  Unlike many jurisdictions, this representation is generally constitutionally entrenched – although, given the political process for constitutional amendment in these countries, this is not as strong a guarantee as it would be in a Western context.

Canada has frequently discussed the concept of guaranteed aboriginal representation but has never acted on it.  Proposals for guaranteed representation in the House of Commons and the Senate were put forward during constitutional discussions prior to 1982 and again during the “aboriginal round” of meetings in the mid-1980s.  Senator Len Marchand – who had been the first aboriginal person elected to Parliament – put together proposals for guaranteed seats in work he headed up for the Lortie Commission.  Lortie rejected guaranteed seats per se, but recommended a process for creating Aboriginal Electoral Districts using the existing framework of the Electoral Boundaries Act.  The Charlottetown Accord – defeated in a 1992 referendum – contained provisions for aboriginal seats in the Senate. 

Several provinces have discussed creating aboriginal seats in provincial legislatures, notably Nova Scotia and New Brunswick .  These seats would have been similar to those in the State of Maine .  In both cases, aboriginal groups ultimately rejected the notion out of concern that it might jeopardize their self-government claims.  In the NWT, guaranteed Aboriginal seats were proposed for the legislature after division in 1999 but this was not finally adopted.  The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples considered guaranteed seats but rejected them – largely because of concerns that they would not be sufficiently numerous to reflect the diversity of Aboriginal Peoples.  Rather they proposed the creation of a separate Aboriginal Parliament.  This reflects the ambivalence and, in some cases, hostility, of aboriginal organizations to any measure that is not fully based in the inherent right of self-government.

Options for Canada

The number of ways in which aboriginal people could be provided representation within parliamentary systems is limited only by the imagination.  This is reflected in the large number of international examples and in the range of proposals that have been put forward from time to time in Canada – not all of which have been described here.

 

However practical considerations probably limit the ways that these proposals could actually be implemented.  The most important of these is whether or not a constitutional amendment would be required for implementation.  Equally significant is whether a given proposal was acceptable to aboriginal peoples and their representative organizations.  The first is largely a legal question; the latter a political one.

Section 35 of the Constitution Act 1982 could certainly be seen as supporting, even requiring, some form of representation for aboriginal peoples in federal, and perhaps, even provincial institutions.  A federal system is composed of aspects of both self-rule and shared-rule and, to the extent that self-rule is limited (which it is in all but the most radical versions of aboriginal self-government), then shared-rule should be available.  One way in which shared-rule might be implemented is through guaranteed and effective participation in federal institutions such as Parliament.

However, whatever rights to representation might be contained in Section 35, these would be severely constrained by Section 3 (Voting Rights), and Part V (amendment process) as well as provisions of the constitution creating federal institutions and guaranteeing representation based on provincial boundaries.  It is generally agreed that any representation that created additional seats in Parliament outside of existing provincial allocations or which crossed provincial boundaries would require a constitutional amendment.  The Constitution would also limit the authority of any separate Parliament for aboriginal peoples that might be created.

As was so rightly and articulately pointed out by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, a constitutional amendment to entrench and recognize defined rights and to modernize relationship between Canada and Aboriginal Peoples is an important and honorable goal.  However, this paper is limited to what might be accomplished through purely legislative means under the Constitution as now written.

Despite this significant limitation, there are a number of options available to provide for effective aboriginal representation in Canada ’s Parliament.  These include promoting aboriginal majority constituencies using the current electoral system, a process for creating AEDs as described by the Lortie commission, the provision of guaranteed seats as in New Zealand or Maine and the creation of a separate Aboriginal Parliament.

The Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act

The EBRA directs the Chief Electoral Officer to adjust the boundaries of electoral districts after each decennial census.  Seats are allocated to provinces and territories through a complex formula that includes certain constitutional guarantees (i.e. PEI is guaranteed to have as many MPs as Senators, that is, four, regardless of population), legislation that maintains provincial allocations to levels in 1975 along with a general rule of representation by population.

After each province is allocated its seats an electoral quotient is devised by dividing the province’s voting population by the number of seats.  Each seat in a province is to be designed to have the number of voters as close as possible to that quotient (as required by Section 3 of the Constitution).  However, the Act permits deviations from this standard to meet the objectives of “effective representation.”  Specifically, the commission shall consider the following in determining reasonable electoral district boundaries:

(i) the community of interest or community of identity in or the historical pattern of an electoral district in the province, and
(ii) a manageable geographic size for districts in sparsely populated, rural or northern regions of the province.

The Supreme Court has ruled seats may vary by as much as 25% from the quotient for the first objective and 50% for the second.

An analysis conducted by Senator Marchand’s group showed that, not counting constituencies in the Northern territories, it would only be possible to create a few ridings in the Northern parts of provinces where aboriginal people had a majority or a large minority of voters.  In fact, such ridings have been constructed in northern Saskatchewan and Manitoba, resulting in some success for aboriginal people.  Metis, Rick Laliberte, currently represents Northern Saskatchewan.  Labrador also has a Metis representative.

In New Brunswick, the Electoral Boundaries Commission has proposed the creation of riding that would combine a large section of central New Brunswick with a number of aboriginal communities scattered across the province.  Although aboriginal people would not be a majority in the riding, they would form a large enough group to impact voting.  The proposal has been heavily criticized for a number of directions and it is uncertain whether the Commission will include it in its final report.  What is most interesting about the proposal is that, for the first time, a serious suggestion for a non-contiguous riding, that is, one that includes communities that are not physically connected, has been proposed by a Boundaries Commission.  Since this is at the basis for other proposals for aboriginal representation, this is a very significant development.

However, while it would be possible that aboriginal ridings, even non-contiguous ones, might be created through the current act, there is little guarantee or likelihood that they will be without further legislative action.

Aboriginal Electoral Districts (AEDs) – the Lortie proposal

The Royal Commission on Electoral Reform in 1991 recommended amendments to the Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act that would ensure the creation of Aboriginal Electoral Districts under certain circumstances.  The RCER stopped short of proposing guaranteed seats similar to those then existing in New Zealand.  Rather, it called for the creation of a separate aboriginal voters’ list.  If sufficient numbers of aboriginal people registered in any province (the RCER recommended a quota of 85% of the province’s electoral quotient), an aboriginal electoral district would be formed.  The boundaries of the seat would be the same as the provincial boundaries and the AED would overlap all the other constituencies in the province.  If enough people registered to create more than one seat, the province would be divided into separate districts by an aboriginal electoral boundaries commission.  The AEDs formed would not be additional to the provincial allocation (that would require a constitutional amendment) but would be taken from the normal allotment.  For example, Ontario might have two aboriginal seats covering the entire province along with 99 “regular” constituencies for a total of 101 – the same number they currently have.  The geographically based constituencies might be a little larger than present but this would be seen, politically and legally, as a trade-off for more effective representation.  Nor would it deviate in principle from the current Section 15 rules of the EBRA.

There are some distinct advantages to this proposal.  Because the principles of one-person one-vote are adhered to and because registration on the aboriginal list would be voluntary, there could be no defensible criticism that the seats were “a form of apartheid.”  (The criticism would certainly arise but could be responded to fairly readily – see the list of articles in Appendix I).  Aboriginal MPs, who would represent as many or more individuals than their colleagues, could not be stigmatized as token representatives.  Because provincial boundaries were not crossed and provincial allocations not changed, these AEDs could be created without the necessity of a constitutional amendment. 

There are also some drawbacks to the proposal.  Aboriginal people have tended to vote in lower numbers than other Canadians.  There are many reasons for this.  Some, such as a feeling that there is no point because the non-aboriginal majority swamps their votes, would disappear if AEDs were created.  Others – a rejection of the parliamentary system as “foreign,” lower levels of political education, and the generally low voter response to registration programs (see, for example, low voter registration among blacks and Hispanics in the USA) – would remain.  It is quite possible that insufficient numbers of voters would register in any province to create even one Aboriginal Electoral District, especially if the fairly stringent RCER requirements of 85% are adopted.  (Choosing a lower requirement such as the 50% rule for remote or sparsely populated ridings would help but the basic flaw remains – and such a rule might be on shaky constitutional grounds if ridings included large numbers of urban aboriginal voters.)

Another limitation is that aboriginal voters in Atlantic Canada would not benefit from this plan, since there are insufficient numbers in any one province to create a seat even using the 50% rule.  Since this issue could only be remedied by a constitutional amendment to permit trans-provincial ridings, it would be an issue no matter what system of guaranteed representation was used.

It is worthwhile to note that changes made to the New Zealand electoral system in 1996 are similar to those proposed by the RCER.  New Zealand has moved from a system that guaranteed four seats to the Maori, regardless of the number of Maori voters who registered on the separate role, to one that guarantees seats based on the size of registration on that role.  Although the number of Maori seats has risen from four to six, this is considerably less than they might have if all Maori (who represent 14.5% of the population) registered on the role.  If at some time in the future, all Maori chose register on the general list, Maori seats would disappear.

It is estimated that between six and eight AEDs would be created through the process recommended by the RCER (one in each of Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC, with the possibility of an additional seat in both Ontario and BC).  The actual number would only be known after the registration process for a separate aboriginal voters list was complete.  If aboriginal people chose not to register in sufficient numbers, it is possible that no AEDs would be created.

Guaranteed Seats Based on Population

Another way of approaching guaranteed seats for aboriginal people would be to create seats based on the percentage of population.  For example if aboriginal people represent 3% of all people in Canada, they would be entitled to 3% of all seats.  In the current House of Commons with 301 seats, aboriginal people would obtain 9 seats.  If the aboriginal population rose or fell – as measured by the decennial census – the number of seats guaranteed to them would also rise or fall.  In a way, this was the system in place in New Zealand prior to 1996 – except that the number of seats guaranteed never reflected the actual number of Maori in the general population.

With this approach, low registration in the aboriginal list caused by lower political education, socio-economic factors and the difficulty of communication in remote communities would be eliminated.  A separate list would still be required for voting purposes, but the number of seats would be guaranteed regardless of how many people registered.

Without a constitutional amendment, provincial boundaries would still have to be respected in any allocation and some rule for deviation from the provincial quotient would be required.  Therefore, aboriginal people in Atlantic Canada would still be unrepresented and aboriginal people in individual provinces might be under- or over-represented compared to other voters.  Using the most recent readily available census data (1996) and the usual 25% deviation rule (i.e. a seat is created if there are enough aboriginal people to meet 75% of the provincial quotient), the following results obtain.

Province

% Aboriginal population

Total number of seats

Number of AEDs

Quebec

1.0%

75

1

Ontario

1.3%

103

1

Manitoba

11.7%

14

2

Saskatchewan

11.4%

14

2

Alberta

4.6%

26

1

BC

3.8%

34

1

Using a more generous 50% rule, one additional seat would be created in each province except Quebec.  So this approach would create between 8 and 13 seats in Parliament strictly for aboriginal people.  According to the 1996 census, 2.8% of Canadians identified themselves as aboriginal, which in a 301-seat parliament would provide between 8 and 9 seats on a strict proportional basis.  Given the difficulties representing a diverse and scattered population, 13 seats might not be unreasonable.

There are three main difficulties with this approach – one technical, the other two political.  One problem is with the census data itself, which relies on self-identification to determine the numbers of aboriginal people.  There is some reason to believe that some aboriginal groups – such as urban Metis and non-Status Indians – underreport so the actual percentage of aboriginal people in the Canadian population may be as high as 3.6% (New statistics from the 2001 census suggest this is true).  In addition, long-standing disagreements over the definition of who is or is not aboriginal further cloud the issue.  Until such time as better statistics are available, census data methods and definitions may have to be used.

The political problem with guaranteed seats may be more difficult to resolve.  By de-linking the guarantee of seats from the size of the aboriginal voters’ list, a situation could arise where very few aboriginal voters could elect a number of MPs.  In fact, it would make sense in seats where aboriginal people have a large minority of voters for them not to register as aboriginal voters thus increasing their chances of electing members in addition to those already guaranteed.  Although the Canadian population has been fairly happy with adjusting electoral boundaries and varying the size of districts to accommodate the needs of effective representation, they might balk at having a few thousand or even a few hundred aboriginal voters elect MPs when it takes 50,000 to 100,000 voters in general constituencies.  Moreover, aboriginal MPs elected under these conditions might be “tainted” in the eyes of their colleagues and would not receive the respect or attention that was their due.  It was precisely this phenomenon of strategic voting and sense of ghettoization that contributed to the changes in New Zealand law.  It is uncertain whether, in these circumstances, guaranteed seats could survive a constitutional challenge under Section 3 of the Constitution Act 1982.

A further difficulty is created by the sheer diversity of aboriginal people in Canada.  Quebec for example has at least three very distinct aboriginal groups – the Mohawk, the Cree, and the Innu – yet would only have one MP to represent them.  Similar issues would arise in every other province – and, of course, Atlantic aboriginal people would not be represented at all.

However, the alternative – requiring aboriginal people to vote only in aboriginal ridings – would be criticized, perhaps rightly so, as racial segregation or even apartheid.  This would likely be unacceptable to both the aboriginal and non-aboriginal populations.  It is doubtful such a measure would withstand a legal challenge as well. 

One solution might be to adopt the approach of the State of Maine – creating special representatives with some but not all of the powers of regular MPs and allowing aboriginal people to vote both for their aboriginal representative and in their geographic constituency.  Although these MPs might be viewed as second-class citizens by some because they could not initiate or vote on legislation, there is no reason they could not still have significant influence through debate, committee work, or, even, through representation in Cabinet (as Ministers of State as these do not introduce legislation as a general rule).

Because of their limited powers, it might also be possible to have more aboriginal MPs than simple representation by population would warrant.   Every major nation or group might have one or more representatives, with perhaps 30 to 40 aboriginal MPs in all.  Such a significant group could well change the tone and nature of debates in the House of Commons.  If nothing else, other MPs would be sensitized to and educated about aboriginal issues and perspectives and aboriginal voices would be heard on all the major issues of the day.  The constitutionality of such a measure would need careful examination but it seems likely that a system that was both politically and constitutionally sound could be devised.

Having two levels of representatives in the Commons would entail some risks.  Aboriginal people or groups might well reject such representatives as second rate.  Some Canadians and MPs might object to the creation of a one person – two votes system, while others might view aboriginal MPs as irrelevant.  In the worst case, governments might feel they didn’t need to address aboriginal issues such as self-government seriously since aboriginals now had their own voice in Parliament.  The question is whether these risks outweigh the risks involved in continuing to have aboriginal voices underrepresented in Canada’s central institutions.

A Separate Aboriginal Parliament

An alternative to having Aboriginal electoral Districts to represent aboriginal people in the House of Commons would be the creation of a separate Aboriginal Parliament, as recommended by Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples.  RCAP proposed this alternative, which was based on a proposal made the Native Council of Canada (now the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples) during the Charlottetown Accord process, for a number of reasons.  Some aboriginal people have expressed the view that Parliament and the election process is a colonial imposition that does not reflect aboriginal tradition or practice.  Participation directly in the House or the Senate would be tantamount to accepting this colonial system and could damage the long-term goal of self-government.  Moreover, the diversity of aboriginal people could not be represented by any system of AEDs based on representation by population.

The only example of separate aboriginal parliaments are those established for the Sami people of Scandinavia.  To quote RCAP, “the Sami parliaments lack clout.”  Moreover, they were imposed by the central government without consultation with the Sami people themselves.  Ideally, an Aboriginal Parliament, or House of First Nations, would be a separate Chamber of Parliament with most, if not all, of the powers of the Commons and the Senate.  At the very least it would have the authority to legislate over a number of areas of aboriginal interest, such as land and resources, the environment, language and culture and so on.  Representation would be based on nation or peoples – each nation or people would have its own representative with larger ones having additional representatives.  Election could be by voting or by some other means determined by the individual First Nation in keeping with their traditions.  This would result in roughly 75 to 100 representatives.

The difficulty is, of course, that creating a third Chamber of Parliament with real power would not only require a constitutional amendment but might require unanimous consent of all provinces because of the impact on the office of the Queen and Governor General under Section 41. 

RCAP foresaw this difficulty and proposed the interim measure, until such time as a constitutional amendment is possible, of an Aboriginal Parliament Act, creating a separate body with significant non-legislative responsibilities including advice to the Senate and Commons on a number of areas, review and oversight of such things as self-government and land claims negotiations and conducting fact-finding or investigation on any number of areas.  The final design of this Parliament – including size and method of representation – could be undertaken by aboriginal organizations in consultation with Parliament.  The creation of an advisory body of this nature is clearly within the constitutional authority of Parliament and could be enacted though legislation.

Although some aboriginal groups might object to the creation of a purely advisory body, and other Canadians might object to the expense of a separate Chamber, an Aboriginal Parliament has several distinct advantages.  First, it could be more flexible in recognizing the diverse ways that leaders are selected in aboriginal traditions.  Second, it could be larger that might be possible under other proposals, ensuring that aboriginal diversity is fully acknowledged.  Finally, it could stand as a powerful model for a future federal relationship between Canada and aboriginal peoples when issues of self-government and renewed federalism are finally addressed.  Although, like every other proposal, a separate Parliament runs the risk of segregating aboriginal concerns from the mainstream and impeding progress to self-government, it may, by substantially increasing the volume of aboriginal voices in the nation’s capital, generate such significant returns that the risk is worth taking.

Next Steps

Five options, including two versions of guaranteed representation in the House of Commons, have been outlined in this paper.  Legislation to implement any of them could be readily developed – in the case of AEDs, draft legislation already exists.  However, before moving forward on any of them, it would be wise to consult with aboriginal people and to seek allies in the Senate and House of Commons. 

Aboriginal organizations are unlikely to support any legislation which has not involved them at a fairly early stage and which does not complement their goals of self-government.  At the very least, major national organizations should be contacted to determine their interest in such an initiative.  This paper or a shorter version with fewer options could be used as a focal point of discussion.  While unanimous endorsement may not occur, the legislation is unlikely to even be seriously debated without some measure of support from aboriginal peoples.

Similarly, efforts should be made to gauge the interest of other aboriginal Senators and MPs.  At the very least, a seconder will be needed to introduce a Bill into the Senate.

Appendix I – Bibliography

The Constitution Acts, 1867 to 1982

Electoral Boundaries Readjustment Act

Royal Commission on Electoral Reform, 1991

Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, 1996

Knight, Trevor  “Electoral Justice for Aboriginal People in Canada”  McGill Law Journal, Vol. 46, 2001

Nagel, Jack “New Zealand’s Method for Representing Minorities”  www.fairvote.org, 1995

Elections Canada –Federal Representation 2004 – New Brunswick

Watts, Ronald  “Federal Systems and Accommodation of Distinct Groups: A Comparative Survey of Institutional Arrangements for aboriginal Peoples”  Queen’s University, 1998

Parliament of Australia, “Indigenous Affairs in Australia New Zealand, Canada, United States of America, Norway and Sweden”  1998

Niemczak, Peter “Aboriginal Political Representation: a Review of Several Jurisdictions”  Library of Parliament, Ottawa,  Revised 1999

Schouls, Tim  “Aboriginal Peoples and Electoral Reform in Canada”  Canadian Journal of Political Science, 1996

 Marchand, Senator Len “Proportional Representation for Native Peoples” Canadian Parliamentary Review, Autumn 1990

 Hawkes, David “Indigenous Peoples: Self-Government and Intergovernmental Relations”  www.ciff.on.ca  n.d.

 Waitangi Tribunal, Maori Electoral Option Report. Department of Justice Wellington, NZ, 1995?