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Band councils, hereditary chiefs play distinct governance roles: expert

The Canadian Press

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By The Canadian Press

VICTORIA — Canadians are getting a crash course on the differences between non-elected hereditary chiefs and band councils elected by First Nations as RCMP arrests at a blockade in northern British Columbia launched pipeline protests across the country this week.

“The question of who represents Indigenous people is a thorny one,” said Val Napoleon, director of the Indigenous law research unit at the University of Victoria. “Just saying this system is good and that system is not, isn’t helpful. Indigenous legal traditions have to be part of the relationship with Canada.”

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