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Diversifying Methodologies: A Haudenosaunee/Settler Approach for Measuring Indigenous-Local Intergovernmental Success

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 August 2018

Christopher Alcantara
Department of Political Science, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, N6A 5C7
Ian Kalman
Fulbright University Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
E-mail address:


Intergovernmental agreements between municipal and Indigenous governments are rapidly expanding in number and importance in Canada and the United States, yet they remain underexamined in the literature. This article considers how to measure the success of these agreements. It takes as a case study the port divestiture agreement between the City of Cornwall (Ontario, Canada), and a neighbouring Indigenous government, the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. While the agreement represents a partial success and partial failure by conventional public policy and public administration metrics, these evaluations are different when measured against the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) principle of “one-mindedness.” Findings, which were generated using anthropological and qualitative political science methods, suggest that the use of both Indigenous and non-Indigenous frameworks are required to produce accurate and comprehensive evaluations of these agreements and the outcomes that are produced by them.


Le nombre et l'importance des ententes conclues entre les gouvernements municipaux et autochtones augmentent rapidement au Canada et aux États-Unis, mais elles n'ont pas fait l'objet d'un examen suffisamment étayé dans la littérature. Le présent article examine comment mesurer le succès de telles ententes. Il prend comme étude de cas l'accord de dessaisissement du Port entre la ville de Cornwall (Ontario, Canada) et un gouvernement autochtone voisin, le Conseil des Mohawks d'Akwesasne. Bien que l'accord représente un succès et un échec partiels de la politique publique conventionnelle et des dispositions de l'administration publique, ces évaluations diffèrent lorsqu'elles sont mesurées à l'aune du principe de la tradition haudenosaunee (iroquoise) de « l'unicité d'esprit ». Les résultats obtenus à l'aide de méthodes anthropologiques et qualitatives en science politique suggèrent que l'utilisation de cadres autochtones et non autochtones est nécessaire pour produire des évaluations précises et complètes de ces accords et des résultats qu'ils produisent.

Research Article/Étude originale
Copyright © Canadian Political Science Association (l'Association canadienne de science politique) and/et la Société québécoise de science politique 2018 

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