“The statistics documenting the problems experienced by aboriginal communities across Canada are well-known. Poverty, high unemployment... [more]
"Poverty is still the norm for most of Canada’s First Nations, despite ongoing efforts over many years to stimulate reserve economies, including significant investment by governments trying to ‘prime the economic pump’. There are, however, some good examples where the pattern has been changed and communities are breaking the chains of poverty. There are lessons to be learned from both within Canada and outside as to what can be done to alleviate poverty and stimulate economic growth. In order to understand what is being done it is necessary to appreciate the general nature of capital and place this squarely within the history of the administration of First Nations in Canada and the politics of modernisation. This is examined in Part One of this paper with two caveats. Firstly, this Part essentially concerns governance and economic development on-reserve and does not address the related but different questions of economic development off-reserve within broader traditional territories. Secondly, while the principles apply to any First Nation, the practical application of these findings to all First Nations, will, of course, be limited by the economic potential of a First Nation’s reserve lands. Inevitably, potential varies from location to location due to a variety of circumstances. Because prosperity and wealth inevitably follow the creation of capital, an equally important task then becomes managing the wealth and administering it wisely. This is addressed in Part Two."