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Aboriginal labour market integration and the 2009 Saskatchewan Labour Market Strategy : An application of John Kingdon's policy stream theory



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Within Saskatchewan, Aboriginal labour market integration has been consistently low, especially in comparison to non-Aboriginal peoples. In 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan created a Labour Market Commission to view labour market trends and challenges, with a focus on improving Aboriginal labour market integration. In 2009, the Commission developed an aggressive policy initiative called the 2009 Saskatchewan Labour Market Strategy. One of the main objectives of the policy was increasing Aboriginal labour market integration in Saskatchewan. The Commission spanned across two different governments, beginning under the Saskatchewan New Democratic Party government and ending under the Saskatchewan Party government. Despite being well received by a majority of invested stakeholders, the Saskatchewan Party government did not implement the 2009 Saskatchewan Labour Market Strategy, and the Commission was subsequently disbanded. It is the objective of the thesis to explore the evolution of the 2009 Saskatchewan Labour Market Strategy to examine why the issue of Aboriginal labour market integration gained traction, how policy makers intended to address it and why this Strategy was ultimately not implemented. John Kingdon’s policy stream theory will provide the theoretical framework for the analysis. Kingdon’s policy stream theory suggests policy development flows through three distinct streams: the problem stream, the policy proposal stream and the political stream. The thesis will use these streams to examine the development of the Strategy and conclude that Aboriginal integration was focused on for economic reasons, rather than solely improving overall quality of life, and that the Strategy was rejected by the Saskatchewan Party government on partisan grounds.



Public policy, Aboriginal, Labour Market, Kingdon, Saskatchewan



Master of Arts (M.A.)


Political Studies


Political Science


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