Why Is It Difficult To Achieve Economic Stability In First Nations In Canada?

1025 words - 5 pages

The economic involvement of First Nations people has been present in Canada since its days as an early settler society. Europeans moved in on Aboriginal lands and colonized their peoples, exerting political dominance in the process. As European powers continued to rise, so did the number of immigrants who came to North America to become apart of this new British colony. The colony became a reflection of its mother country, sharing similar values, institutions, ideologies and economic practices (344). It became the basis of early Canadian life, where the privilege of whites far outweighed that of Aboriginals. From an subsistence based economy, to the modern one which followed, often left ...view middle of the document...

As the government progressively made am attempt to focus on the development of Aboriginal communities, the distinction between economic growth versus development was often overlooked since the two are not synonymous. Growth can occur without development, which is what is taking place amongst most Aboriginal groups (341). SHOULD I DEFINE ECONOMIC GROWTH VS DEVELOPMENT? Aboriginal people have been cornered into a stagnant place in society since “exploitation maintained by the government and the elite of the private sector, but also by the elite of the Aboriginal communities… which prohibited [Aboriginals] from using resources in direct competition with non-Aboriginal users” (346). Ethically, it is challenging to understand why their contributions were not counted as equal. There must have been some individuals who understood that the marginalization of Aboriginal, especially in terms of the economy was ethically wrong. A modernization policy was put in effect in 1970, The Indian Economic Development Fund, to fund only legal (registered, status) Indians. It provided loans (direct and guaranteed) or credit for on-reserve projects. The fund was later replaced by the Canadian Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy, followed buy the 1989 creation of the Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy. It placed more control in Aboriginal hands in terms of decision-making and financial resources. Yet, by the 1990s, things began to change again; the focus was placed on the training and education of First Nations to help build their communities (349).
By the early 20th century, a shift in ideology took place and more and more Aboriginal people had the resources and skills necessary to participate on the larger economic field (346). It speaks to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Developments “current economic policy [which] attempts to use an integrated, holistic approach that combines such dimensions as governance, culture, spirituality and education” (349). Their economic development must be well established to strengthen their culture and generate long-term results. Its progress is complex, as it cannot occur in isolation from the rest of Canada and must face any issues head on. The twenty-first century socio-political policy mandate of Indian Affairs is not asking anything overly demanding, in comparison...

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