How Political Change Paved the Way for Indigenous Knowledge: The Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act

  • Julia Christiensen
  • Miriam Grant
Keywords: indigenous knowledge, resource management, post-colonialism, land claims


This paper highlights the process of political change that led to the Mackenzie Valley Resource Management Act (MVRMA), an attempt to recognize the legitimacy of indigenous knowledge in resource management. Evidence from ethnographic interviews shows the importance of involving indigenous knowledge holders in local land and resource management decisions, which are grounded in land-claim settlement processes. However, the authority of the Indian and Northern Affairs Canada minister acts as a barrier to genuine involvement of indigenous knowledge and its holders in resource management. True capacity building in the Northwest Territories cannot succeed without devolution of power from the federal government to territorial and First Nations governments.