Hal J. Gerein / Hal JGerein
In this story, the author is the GNWT's Chief Negotiator for the devolution of lands and resources from Canada. Devolution means the transfer of authority from a senior level of government to a junior level. Many national governments today areinvolved with devolution as a means to "subsidiarity", the principle that politicalpower should be exercised by the least central or smallest unit of governmentcapable and being as close to the people being affected by those decisions aspossible. Other countries' regions, demanding more autonomy from their central governments, are accomplishing it peacefully via negotiations – the devolution revolution – in places such as Great Britain's Scotland.Complicating this Canadian story of devolution is another order of government, the Indigenous First Nations and their governments which have constitutional standing and are the GNWT's partners in the delivery of programs and services to their mutual citizens and the general public. At the same time, the Government ofCanada has responsibility for the nation's relationship with Indigenous peoples.How these tensions are reconciled at a three-sided negotiation table in a historicdevolution agreement make-up the book's storyline. As in every good story, itbuilds to a climax of conflict, then of agreement and reconciliation, and finallyback to living together again in a new relationship.The book will be of interest to historians, political scientists, students of publicadministration, Indigenous cultures and governance, and Arctic studies and,more generally, the NWT public and those who care to learn about how ourevolving nation is being built.