UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Yukon community government Sharp, Robert R.

Abstract

Rural settlements in the Yukon differ from their southern counterparts in that they are characterized by a number of factors such as: geographic isolation, social division of the settlement along White-Indian ethnic lines and political isolation in that many communities have no local mechanism for formulating representative inputs to senior levels of government. These conditions have given rise to difficulties in the administering of rural community' affairs. Residents of these settlements expressed discontent with the way in which community related decisions were made without their involvement. Government agencies on the other hand are confronted with conflicting inputs formulated by individuals or groups from communities so that determining what is representative of the settlement is not an easy task. The thesis addresses the problems of local participation in the governing of community affairs in six similar, ethnically mixed rural Yukon communities. A five month research program during which interviews were conducted and observations recorded and the author's three year residency in one of the settlements studied, provided the material for the descriptive section of the thesis. Descriptions of the socio-political character of six settlements and their relationships with senior government and descriptions of the government agencies which frequently interact of proposed local governments. A tentative proposal of local circulated among respondents in rural communities. Responses to the questionnaire, in addition to responses to questions about the existing type of local government provide a basis for the analysis. The analysis conducted in the thesis indicates that a type of local government with specified form, functions, and role are not flexible enough to encompass the diversity which exists among inferences from these findings are that the Territorial Government should formulate the guidelines for local government allowing the specifics to be worked out between the Territorial Government and the residents of each rural settlement so that the particular local government is perceived as appropriate to the socio-political character of the community. In closing, the thesis discusses the implications of these findings may hold for the development of local government in general.

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