OTTAWA, January 3, 2013 - The Macdonald-Laurier Institute (MLI) is pleased to announce Ken Coates as new Senior Fellow in Aboriginal and Northern Canadian Issues. Dr. Coates is a well-known historian specializing in northern history, Indigenous-newcomer relations, global Indigenous affairs, and resource development. He will co-lead the institute's work in Aboriginal affairs, but will have a wide-ranging brief to work on important national policy issues.

"Ken Coates has an unparalleled reputation as a thinker, researcher, and writer on issues related to the North as well as Canada's Aboriginal peoples and their relationship with the larger Canadian society," says MLI Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley. "We at MLI are honoured that he has agreed to deploy these formidable talents in support of our new project, Aboriginal Canada and the Natural Resource Economy." The multi-year project will lay out a strategy for the full integration of Aboriginal Canadians into the natural resource economy and the opportunities that it offers. Brian Lee Crowley and Ken Coates will be co-leaders of the project.

The Aboriginal Canada and the Natural Resource Economy initiative focuses on the intersection of two of the most important forces in modern Canada: the political and legal empowerment of Aboriginal Canadians and the rapid development of this country's formidable resource wealth. Coates and Crowley, working with an Aboriginal Advisory Group drawn from across the country, will focus on the identification of practical, policy-related steps that can be taken by Aboriginal governments, natural resource companies, the provinces, and the Government of Canada. As Coates observed, "The conjunction of Indigenous rights and Canada's economic trajectory give this country a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create real and lasting partnerships that provide Aboriginal peoples with an appropriate and sustainable role in the economy. This is not an opportunity Canada can afford to miss."

Dr. Coates is the Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan. He has served at universities across Canada and at the University of Waikato (New Zealand), an institution known internationally for its work on Indigenous affairs. He has also worked as a consultant for Indigenous groups and governments in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia as well as for the United Nations, companies, and think tanks. He is currently finalizing a book called Treaty Peoples: Finding Common Ground with Aboriginal Canadians. He has previously published on such topics as Arctic sovereignty, Aboriginal rights in the Maritimes, northern treaty and land claims processes, regional economic development, and government strategies for working with Indigenous peoples in Canada. His book, A Global History of Indigenous Peoples; Struggle and Survival, offered a world history perspective on the issues facing Indigenous communities and governments. He was co-author of the Donner Prize winner for the best book on public policy in Canada, Arctic Front: Defending Canada in the Far North, and was short-listed for the same award for his earlier work, The Marshall Decision and Aboriginal Rights in the Maritimes. Ken contributes regularly, through newspaper pieces and radio and television interviews, on contemporary discussions on northern, Indigenous, and technology-related issues.

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute is an independent non-partisan Ottawa-based national think tank devoted to the development of Canadian public policy.

For further information, please contact:

Tripti Saha
Communications Officer
Macdonald-Laurier Institute
(613) 482-8327 ext. 105


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