The Two-Row Wampum: Has this metaphor for co-existence run its course?

Article 4 / 8 , Vol 42 No. 2 (Summer)

The Two-Row Wampum: Has this metaphor for co-existence run its course?

In this article – an abridged and revised version of a longer academic research paper – the author illuminates elements of the Northwest Territories’ (NWT)consensus-style Legislative Assembly. He discusses how it is situated within both the political cultural traditions of the Indigenous peoples of NWT (the Dene, Metis and Inuvialuit people) and also the Canadian political culture that has developed out of the Westminster parliamentary system. He contends the Northwest Territories’ consensus style of government is uniquely structured to meet the needs
of its residents. While noting his analysis should not be construed to suggest that this system can or should be exported wholesale to either Indigenous governments or Canada’s parliaments, he suggests it does demonstrate that with shared purpose and political creativity, new ways can be found to define a third shared normative space, sparkling like jewels in the waters of the Two-Row Wampum.

Tim Mercer

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