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Establishing Indigenous Institutions of Governance

Please note, this March 2020 program is currently full. Please register to be added to the wait list or contact to Leadershipadmissions@banffcentre.ca

Program archived

Program Information


As Indigenous and treaty rights are recognized and affirmed, both through the courts and as the outcome of reconciliation activities with the Crown, Indigenous peoples are implementing self-government as an exercise of self-determination. Establishing strong and appropriate institutions of governance is essential if Indigenous nations and political organizations are to achieve successful nationhood. 

Research has shown that implementing Indigenous jurisdiction without establishing effective, culturally legitimate institutions results in unhealthy communities that remain in poverty.  Nations that establish effective and culturally appropriate institutions are more successful. These nations are in a much stronger position to take action to improve the lives of their citizens, including the ability to revitalize their culture and language. They are also less dependent on government transfer payments and become politically and economically more powerful. In this program, participants will be shown tools to build their own Indigenous institutions of governance.

What does the program offer?

  • Establishing capable Indigenous institutions that reflect cultural values and legitimacy
  • Understanding how to run institutions of government
  • Processes for developing and adopting a nation’s constitution, laws, regulations, policies, and community plans
  • Institutions for the enforcement of a nation’s laws
  • Ensuring community support for governance reform and institution building 
  • Building structures and processes for implementing and operationalizing institutions 
  • Creating a professional, independent, and culturally appropriate public service 

Who should register?

  • Indigenous leaders, administrators, senior management, negotiators, and planners 
  • Indian, Inuit, and Métis regional or tribal managers and executive directors   
  • Consultants and legal counsel who work closely with Indigenous nations and organizations
  • Provincial and federal policy analysts and negotiators
  • Industry or government officials interested in Indigenous issues of self-government

Please note, our programs are filled on a first come, first served basis. Please register early to secure a confirmation of your spot.


What's Included

AccommodationRead MoreClose

All Leadership participants who choose the Accommodation and Meal Package are provided private rooms with ensuite washrooms in one of our two onsite hotels, the Professional Development Centre or Lloyd Hall. Room upgrades may be available upon request at an additional cost.

Meal PlanRead MoreClose

If you choose the Accommodation and Meal Package, all of your meals from the start to the end of your program are included; most of your meals will be at Vistas Dining Room, but there may be some special dining events scheduled as well. Please also feel free to visit the Maclab Bistro, Le Café, Three Ravens Restaurant and Wine Bar, but note that these outlets are not included in your meal plan, and thus will be at additional cost.

Banff Centre AmenitiesRead MoreClose

Enjoy free parking, wifi, and access to the Walter Philips Gallery while you are a guest at Banff Centre. Our Participant Resources team is also available to assist you with medical support or event information. See our Events Calendar to learn more about what’s going on at Banff Centre while you’re onsite.

LibraryRead MoreClose

The Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives are located on the 2nd floor of the Kinnear Centre, and provides access to great books, media, and work space.

Fitness and RecreationRead MoreClose

The Sally Borden Fitness and Recreation Centre is located in the lower floor of the Sally Borden Building, and provides all guests with access to our swimming pool, hot tub, steam room, climbing gym, fitness centre, spin studio, and gymnasium. Massage and physiotherapy appointments may also be booked ahead of time.

Fees & Financial Assistance

$2 500.00
Meals and Accommodation
$1 310.00

The above fees do not include applicable taxes, such as GST, the Alberta Tourism Levy, and the Tourism Improvement Fee as needed.

As of April 1st 2019, our tuition fee will increase to $2500.

Group Savings

Enrol four members of your organization or community in a program and your fifth member will receive free tuition. Special restrictions may apply. Due to high demand, we accept a maximum of five members per group; this is to ensure our programming is accessible to everyone.


Financial Assistance

Financial Assistance may be available to subsidize some of the costs to attend your program.

Past participants of the Establishing Indigenous Institutions of Governance program can register again, however will not be eligible for funding assistance.

Funding opportunities Call our toll-free number for more details at 1.888.255.6327

How to Apply

It is important to be aware of all steps included in submitting your application.
Learn more.

All programs, faculty, dates, fees, and offers of financial assistance are subject to change. Program fee is subject to applicable taxes. Banff Centre reserves the right to cancel a program up to seven days prior to program start date if there is insufficient enrolment. All fees will be refunded. Please note that Banff Centre is not liable for any personal/travel expenses incurred.

Contact us

For more information please contact: