Comparative table

How they do it in other countries 

United States

  • recognises Native Americans as ‘domestic dependant nations’
  • recognised tribes have the ability to have their own courts and governments
  • they are exempt from state taxes and some state laws (not criminal laws)
  • tribes own the natural resources on their lands


  • First Nations have treaties that, although overlooked in the past, are now being re-negotiated
  • First Nations are recognised as having a traditional right to hunt and fish
  • aboriginal title, similar to native title, has been recognised by Canadian law
  • aboriginal treaty and common law rights are protected by the Canadian constitution – but they must be balanced with other rights like the right to development.

New Zealand

  • the Treaty of Waitangi has been the key document governing the relationship with Maori people. It was ignored for a long time but has recently been enforced.
  • Maori language is regenerating
  • Maori people have secured commercial fishing licences as part of a negotiated agreement about economic rights that flow from the treaty.