Storytelling, Social Movements, and the ‘Evolution’ of Indigenous Land Tenure

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Social Movements, Land Tenure, Property Regimes, Canada, Idle No More, Indigenous Land


There is substantial support - in theory and practice - for the idea that mismatched land tenure institutions can be key impediments to economic and community development. But most scholars in this field would readily admit that we still know remarkably little about the dynamics that actually shape institutional persistence and change, especially in transitions between property regimes. This article asks what insights we can gain about the dynamics of those transitions from studying modern social movement events, drawing on the recent Idle No More campaign in Canada as an emerging case study of diverse actors and communities engaged in strategic coordination and dissent to shape institutional change.