This paper illuminates the negotiation of group identities and intergroup relations in the Canadian context. It presents an empirical, comparative analysis of group claims around social assistance policy using discourse analysis. Lexical, semantic and narrative analyses of Aboriginal and multicultural documents show a complex organization of intergroup relations, with distinct and at times conflicting claims. In view of the tensions, responsive policy development requires that historical specificity, complexity, and even incompatibilities be taken into account.

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