Contemporary debates about poverty and its mitigation often invoke the idea of social inclusion: the effort to increase the capacities and opportunities of disadvantaged populations to participate more fully in the economy, polity, and institutions of developed societies. While practical outcomes have been inconsistent, this idea has been prominent in the social policies of both Canada and the United States. Both generally see themselves as liberal democracies committed to building socially inclusive societies, and both have adopted policies in support of that goal. However, we argue in this article that social inclusion, as presently conceived, fails to comprehend or address the distinctive situation of Indigenous peoples in both of these countries. Our critique focuses on four aspects of social inclusion as applied to Indigenous peoples: the external conception of needs, the individualization of both problems and solutions, the favoring of distributional politics over positional politics, and the conditionality of inclusion. We argue that both Canada and the United States need to reconceive social inclusion in ways that address these issues and that a more capacious conception of federalism may hold the key.
Indigenous Governance Database
social and economic well-being
This paper has been released by the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress as a constructive contribution to the debate on the social crisis facing Alice Springs and Central Australia. It presents powerful ideas as well as concrete strategies for change that we believe can make a real difference for our people.
Rebuilding Family Life in Alice Springs and Central Australia: The Social and Community Dimensions of Change for Our People. Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Inc. Alice Springs Northern Territory. 2011. Paper. (https://web.archive.org/web/20150310132307/http://www.caac.org.au/files/pdfs/Rebuilding-Families-Congress-Paper.pdf, accessed August 11, 2015)
This report was created as part of the Defending Childhood Initiative created by Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. This initiative strives to harness resources from across the Department of Justice to:
- Prevent children's exposure to violence.
- Mitigate the negative impact of children's exposure to violence when it does occur.
- Develop knowledge and spread awareness about children's exposure to violence.
"Attorney General's Advisory Committee on American Indian/Alaska Native Children Exposed to Violence: Ending Violence so Children Can Thrive." Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. United States Department of Justice. Washington, D.C. November 2014. Report. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/r/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2014/11/17/Nati..., accessed March 3, 2023)