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Economic Development and the Mi'kmaq Confederacy of PEI
“Economic development is a way forward for all communities, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike, to find opportunity and have the ability to capitalize on it, is a good formula. It can be the “one” force that can completely change a community, in a generation.” In 2006, the Honorable Nick Sibbeston, a former Premier, a Senator, a lawyer, and a distinguished member of the Northwest Territories (N.W.T.) Legislative Assembly, gave a speech entitled “Elements of Success and Obstacles to Achievement” regarding Aboriginal involvement in economic development. Mr. Sibbeston has dedicated his life to public service, and particularly the needs of the Aboriginal peoples of the North.
Within the Economic Development program at MCPEI, it is certainly part of the mandate to find opportunity and to capitalize on it, for the purposes of growth and prosperity for both the Abegweit First Nation and the Lennox Island First Nation communities, and the foundation of the goals for economic development have been garnered from research, and in particular for the purposes of this overview, from Senator Sibbeston’s speech.
There are three general areas where such growth and prosperity can flourish:
- Good governance
- Use of land and resources
- Capacity Building
Good governance is necessary for all communities to succeed and within that good planning and strong leadership is essential. The creation and use of projects around renewable energies creates a win-win formula as a way for both economic and employment development, providing a sustainable living environment for generations to come. And finally, capacity building requires the skilled contributions of committed individuals to exploit the talents within, combined with the knowledge that: there are things “we don’t know” and therefore, the willingness to learn them.
Partnership and joint ventures with other First Nations’ communities will also provide a path toward success, where experiences of others are shared and trust and a commitment for growth is made for a better life for all Aboriginal Canadians. And finally it takes the right attitude, a business attitude, and in one generation, a community can realize life altering change.
For more information on economic development for Prince Edward Island’s First Nations’ communities at MCPEI, feel free to contact Katy Baker via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or by phone: (902) 894-1781