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It is a vast understatement to say that the current state of social and economic development within Aboriginal and First Nation communities is far from satisfactory. A recent study1 of the Aboriginal economic gap in Saskatchewan, for example, demonstrated that, compared to the non-Aboriginal community, Aboriginal people experience higher poverty rates, lower education levels, and chronic unemployment.
This paper is part of a larger research study on the Aboriginal co-operative movement (A Reporton Aboriginal Co-operatives in Canada: Current Situation and Potential for Growth). The study was initiated by the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and le Conseil Canadian de la coopération (CCC). The objective of the study was to build knowledge and awareness about the current state and contributions of Aboriginal co-operatives to regional and community development. The present paper has been developed as a background paper for the complete study.
The Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) has launched the First Nations, Métis and Inuit Cooperative Development Program to help Aboriginal communities explore the potential of co-operatives to meet their needs. The five-year pilot program is being developed in consultation with national Aboriginal organizations and the program’s steering committee will be composed of representatives of co-operative and national Aboriginal organizations. It is sponsored by Arctic Co-operatives Ltd.
The Fiscal Plan is a consolidated, program by program budget. The fiscal plan lays out the overall Band Council budget for the new fiscal year and is based upon approved Program Work Plans. Program budgets set out expected financial activities during the fiscal year. They are based on an analysis of revenues and expenditures and include both capital and operational expenditures.
A Revenue Forecast is a realistic summary of anticipated income from all sources including federal government departments, provincial ministries, community-based royalties, trusts and foundations, and private agreements.
A Capital Plan is a prioritized listing (including cost estimates) for major capital projects that the community would like to undertake over the next five years. The Capital Plan includes both mandatory and optional capital projects, as well as funded and unfunded projects. Capital Projects are usually defined as projects related to the planning, design, construction, renovation or purchase of facilities for education, housing, or community infrastructure purposes. Capital assets are permanent resources in the community such as buildings, roads, utilities, land, and equipment.