Ambitious for 2009

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. I don’t remember ever making one — until this year. The resolution is to do some heavy reading on aboriginal law and (more generally) philosophy of law.

I’m a negotiator. My job is to negotiate self-government agreements with First Nations (aka Indian tribes) and Inuit groups. I don’t blog about work very often because the negotiations are confidential.

I’ve only been in my current position for one year. My earlier position was with a different department, Health Canada. There, I was still involved in self-government negotiations:  for example, I played a small role in the self-government component of the Labrador Inuit Association land claim negotiations. But the job at Health Canada mostly consisted of policy analysis. The face-to-face negotiations are always led by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.

My first year at INAC has gone very well. I may soon have an opportunity to move into a senior negotiator position.

One of the quirks of my personality is that I like to study academic texts. I used to spend a lot of my spare time reading theology. I’ve lost some of my passion for that topic — since it doesn’t have much connection to my day-to-day life anymore — and I’ve never really found anything to replace it.

Until now. In my mid-forties, I’ve finally arrived at a job that seems to fit me to a “T”. And I like to know more than is strictly necessary in order to do my job.

I plan to study relevant court decisions, articles on aboriginal law, etc. But I also have some half-formed ideas percolating in my mind, and I plan to try to flesh them out. That would involve some reflection on the philosophy of law, with the goal of bringing some of the abstract theory into connection with my personal experience of negotiating actual legal texts.

Thus my New Year’s resolution is to spend less time poking about in the blogosphere and more time reading actual books.

It may reduce the number of posts I write here at [A]mazed and [Be]mused. But I’m ambitious to make the most of my new career:  not merely to skate across the surface of it, but to develop some modest expertise in my field.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Zayna
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 14:35:29

    “reading actual books”…I like that.



  2. Jack
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 15:51:11

    Ah, if only I had time to read everything I wish to read.


  3. Stephen
    Jan 05, 2009 @ 19:51:28

    Time, yes … that will be the challenge. Which is why something else will have to give!


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