First Nations Gaming in Canada


While games of chance have been part of the Aboriginal cultural landscape since before European contact, large-scale commercial gaming facilities within First Nations communities are a relatively new phenomenon in Canada. First Nations Gaming in Canada is the first multidisciplinary study of the role of gaming in indigenous communities north of the 49th parallel. Bringing together some of Canada’s leading gambling researchers, the book examines the history of Aboriginal gaming and its role in indigenous political economy, the rise of large-scale casinos and cybergaming, the socio-ecological impact of problem gambling, and the challenges of labour unions and financial management. The authors also call attention to the dearth of socio-economic impact studies of gambling in First Nations communities while providing models to address this growing issue of concern.


First Nations Gaming in Canada is a useful and informative book that provides background on the historical, cultural, social, economic and regulatory development of First Nations games and gambling. This is a valuable reference book and a very useful guide to further literature.”

Helen Breen, Southern Cross University, International Gambling Studies

“First Nations gaming is no longer a new phenomenon; however, academic analyses are still in a stage of infancy. With the innovative nature of this book, the foundation is now firmly in place to reconsider old assumptions, ask new questions, and stimulate additional research."

G. Bruyere, Nicola Valley Institute of Technology, CHOICE Magazine

About the Author

Yale D. Belanger is an associate professor in the department of Native American studies at the University of Lethbridge, and author of Ways of Knowing: An Introduction to Native Studies in Canada and Gambling with the Future: The Evolution of Aboriginal Gaming in Canada.

Table of Contents

Legal Historical Issues - 1: Toward an Innovative Understanding of North American Indigenous Gaming in Historical Perspective, Yale D. Belanger - 2: The Mohawks of Kahnawa:ke and the Case for an Aboriginal Right to Gaming under the Canadian Constitution Act, 1982, Morden C. Lazarus, Edwin D. Monzon & Richard B. Wodnicki - 3: Virtual Sovereignty? Assessing Canadian First Nations Internet Gambling Ventures, Yale D. Belanger & Robert J. Williams / Socio-Economic & Research Considerations / 4: A Framework for Assessing the Socioeconomic Impacts of Gambling, Robert J. Williams - 5: Gambling Research in Canadian Aboriginal Communities: A Participatory Action Approach, Harold J. Wynne - 6: Exploring Gambling Impacts in Two Alberta Cree Communities: A Participatory Action Study, Garry J. Smith, Cheryl L. Currie, James Battle - 7: First Nations Gaming and Urban Aboriginal Peoples: Does an Economic ‘Fit’ Exist?, Yale D. Belanger / Health / 8: Gambling and Problem Gambling in North American Aboriginal People, Robert J. Williams, Rhys M.G. Stevens, & Gary Nixon - 9: Exploring Gambling Behaviours among Aboriginal Peoples: A Critical Socioecological Model, Sharon Yanicki, Bonnie Lee, & David Gregory / Challenges & First Nations Gaming / 10: A First Nations Approach to Securing Public Trust: SIGA’s Corporate Response to the Dutch Lerat Affair, 2000-2004, Yale D. Belanger - 11: Casino Rama: Aboriginal Self-Determination, Neoliberal Solution or Partial Middle Ground?, Darrell Manitowabi - 12: Labour Unions and First Nations Casinos: An Uneasy Relationship, Yale D. Belanger

University of Manitoba Press is grateful for the support it receives for its publishing program from the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund; the Canada Council for the Arts; the Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage, and Tourism; the Manitoba Arts Council; and the Aid to Scholarly Publishing Programme.