Section 35 Legal Framework: Implications for Evaluation
Developments in Canada’s constitutional and legal framework since 1982 set the stage for the current Liberal government’s nation to nation policy which recognizes Indigenous rights and seeks to build a relationship of respect and partnership through reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. These developments have important implications for those engaged in policy and program evaluations who are now called upon - not only by their own professional ethics but by the legal principles flowing from section 35 - to reimagine their approach and work as partners with Indigenous nations based on the recognition of Indigenous rights, reconciliation and the Crown’s duty to act honourably in all of its dealings with Indigenous peoples. There are no off the shelf answers for how this can be done. Evaluations professionals will need to be guided by these key legal principles and the progressive view set out in the Liberal government’s Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Nation to Nation Relationship with Indigenous Peoples.
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