Indigenous Studies (INST) 426

Aboriginal Government and Law (Revision 1)

INST 426 course cover

Temporarily closed, effective March 10, 2016.

Delivery Mode: Individualized study

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Reading course - Applied Studies

Prerequisite: None

Precluded Course: INST 426 may not be taken for credit if credit has already been obtained for CRJS 426.

Centre: Nukskahtowin

INST 426 is not available for challenge.


The primary objective of this course is to equip students with a theoretical and practical basis for understanding, assessing, and analysing the legal and political aspects of Aboriginal government and law. To accomplish this objective, the course relies on information from two very different governance systems: traditional Aboriginal government and the Canadian government.


INST 426 comprises ten units as follows:

  • Unit 1: Aboriginal Government and Law
  • Unit 2: Traditional Governance in Aboriginal Nations
  • Unit 3 Traditional Justice in Aboriginal Communities
  • Unit 4 Pressures on Traditional Governance and Law: The Royal Proclamation and the Treaties
  • Unit 5: Canadian Laws and Their Impact on Aboriginal Peoples
  • Unit 6: Contemporary Conflicts: Aboriginal Title
  • Unit 7: Contemporary Conflicts: Aboriginal Rights
  • Unit 8: Contemporary Conflicts: Treaties in the Courtroom
  • Unit 9: Self-Determination and Self-Government in a Contemporary Aboriginal Context
  • Unit 10: Conclusion


To receive credit for INST 426, you must achieve a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination, and a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of assignments is as follows:

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Midterm Take Home Exam Final Exam Total
10% 40% 20% 30% 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Little Bear, L., Boldt, M., & Long, J.A. (1992). Pathways to self-determination: Canadian Indians and the Canadian state. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Other Materials

The course materials also include a student manual, study guide, and a reading file.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 1, February 2, 2005.