“The statistics documenting the problems experienced by aboriginal communities across Canada are well-known. Poverty, high unemployment, lack of infrastructure and suitable housing are all endemic to aboriginal communities. Despite this, there are many aboriginal success stories – communities that have gotten fully engaged in economic activities, exploiting renewable and non-renewable resources for the benefit of their people.”
“The case studies used in the paper look at American reservations, but they have obvious application in Canada. In both countries, aboriginal people have shared almost identical histories, and their legal and political structures are twins. Their reserve societies are rife with the same kind of grinding poverty and social problems, and income levels remain at the bottom of the ethnic totem pole on both sides of the border.
“The road to poverty may get shorter for on-reserve First Nations people throughout the country. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development is working to ensure its 47-year-old income assistance policy remains in force.”
“The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Poverty Reduction Strategy provides a comprehensive overview of the status of implementation of the provincial Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS). Launched in 2006, Reducing Poverty: An Action Plan for Newfoundland and Labrador set out the strategic vision, guiding principles, key directions, and practical goals and objectives to realize the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s commitment to become the province in Canada with the lowest poverty rates in the country by 2014.”
National Center for First Nation Governance (NCFNG)
Year of publication:
"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.
"Investing in disadvantaged young people is one of the rare public policies with no equity-efficiency tradeoff. Based on the methodology developed in Sharpe, Arsenault and Lapointe (2007), we estimate the effect of increasing the educational attainment level of Aboriginal Canadians on labour market outcome and output up to 2026. We build on these projection to estimate the potential effect of eliminating educational and social gaps between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people on government spending and government revenues using population and economic projections to 2026."
"Community-led development is an approach to tackling local problems that is taking hold throughout the world. This paper explores the concept and practice of the approach as it applies to First Nations communities in Canada. It briefly identifies ten core principles that comprise the basis for community-led development, summarizes selected examples in Canada and elsewhere in the world and highlights lessons from Aboriginal community-led development.
"Indian” policy in Canada has been historically based on the objective of assimilating the Indigenous population. There has been recent movement to create policies that support First Nations’ self-governance, yet, the Indian Act and its related policies have not been amended to reflect this change. Thus federal policy now hovers between the two conflicting objectives. The result is chronic poverty in First Nations, a worsening problem that has stymied federal policymakers."
"What we have established in this paper is that the economic state of Canada's first peoples today is deplorable, that the costs of the status quo to the public purse are high and rising, and that any costs incurred by the federal government in addressing these problems are a lot more affordable today than was the case just a few years ago. We have also provided a brief outline of the economic strategy recommended by RCAP."