Preparing Effective Codes of Ethics in Aboriginal Agency
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An Aboriginal agency that: (a) conducts business in a cross-cultural setting; (b) employs Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal employees; (c) wants to conduct its operations in keeping with Aboriginal protocols; may wish to adopt a code of ethics for itself and its employees. However, an Aboriginal agency wishing to adopt a code of ethics based upon Aboriginal protocols faces at least three main challenges. First, for the code to be effective from an Aboriginal perspective it must accurately reflect the unique views, values and protocols that the Aboriginal community holds dear. This means that the code needs to be rooted in oral traditions and compliance with natural law. The problem is that current approaches to drafting codes of ethics in the Western European legal tradition are most often rooted in written traditions based upon positivist, deontological and legalistic considerations. It is one task to prepare a positivistic rule-based legal document that prohibits or mandates specific actions; it is another task to frame principle-based codes of ethics aimed at modeling natural law principles necessary for individual and community growth and harmony.