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Queen's University

Welcome to the Home of Federalism

The Institute of Intergovernmental Relations at Queen's University is Canada's premier university-based centre for research on all aspects of federalism and intergovernmental relations, both in Canada and in countries around the world. Use the menus on the left to navigate our website and the menu on the right to view recent news events.

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What's Happening at the IIGR

The Institute expects to publish its 2012 State of the Federation book in early 2015 based on the conference held in Kingston in November 2012. The idea for the theme of the conference emerged in informal discussions early in 2012 led by Richard Simeon and involving David Cameron and Carolyn Hughes Tuohy from the University of Toronto and myself from the Institute at Queen's. Richard agreed to chair the opening panel at the conference, which he did, and had agreed to turn his comments into a short opening chapter for the forthcoming book. He later informed Loleen Berdahl, from the University of Saskatchewan and the lead editor, that his deteriorating health prevented him from doing that. He did however provide his notes to the editors of the book. After his passing, his wife Mary Etta Cheney gave us permission to publish the notes on the Institute website. David Cameron did a very light edit.

We think this is an appropriate tribute to a great scholar of federalism and a former director of the Institute. Readers of the text who were at the conference will recognize the remarks but may be surprised that Richard had actually written them out. As David Cameron has put it, his writing was so fluent and his delivery so vivacious that it was very hard to tell that he was reading a text.

The publication will be dedicated to Richard.  Link to Speaking Notes 

State of the Federation 2013
Queen’s University, Kingston, November 29-30, 2013

In 2003, the Institute of Intergovernmental Relations held its annual State of the Federation conference on the theme of Aboriginal-State relations. The conference highlighted the disjuncture between the institutions and policies that govern our relations and a rapidly changing Aboriginal reality on the ground. Ten years later, the Idle No More movement starkly reminds Canada of its limited success in addressing Aboriginal rights and land claims, not to mention the ongoing socio-economic challenges facing First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities.

The 2013 State of the Federation conference focused on the implications, challenges and transformative potential of these developments, with a focus on the growing interplay between Aboriginal, federal, provincial and territorial governments in the context of multilevel governance. What can we learn from Aboriginal nations and communities that are seeking to reassert their own approaches to governance? Can Aboriginal, provincial, territorial and federal governments work together in developing innovative approaches to multilevel governance? Do existing governance arrangements in, for example, natural resources management or in the delivery of social services, create opportunities for real and substantive Aboriginal participation in decision-making? What are, in other words, the main challenges, limits of such models? And what are the implications of these multilevel arrangements for Aboriginal rights and political aspirations, as well as for Canadian federalism? Can they be conducive to fundamental changes in our relationships?

Aboriginal Peoples and Federalism
In light of the renewed interest in the relationships between Aboriginal Peoples, their governments and federal and provincial governments, the Institute has decided to highlight its past publications on this subject. We believe that readers will find them relevant, whether or not they have been involved with these matters in the past.  To see our series of publications click here.

Working Paper Series

The Institute of Intergovernmental Relations is resuming publication of working papers on its website. We are interested in receiving papers from scholars in political science, economics, history, law, geography and related fields. Authors should submit a copy by email to Papers should normally not exceed 12,000 words, should conform to general academic standards and can be either in French or English. Authors will be advised of possible revisions following the editorial review. We also welcome comments on the papers. Comments will be posted following a review. View papers already submitted here.



Take a moment to browse our Events Calendar to view some of the important and exciting activities the IIGR has in store for the near future.


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