Prairie Reserves Praised For Progressive Action

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 at 15:23



A Winnipeg-based think tank says reserves in Saskatchewan and Manitoba are beginning to make inroads towards self-sufficiency.


Don Sandberg of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy says more First Nations are beginning to separate governance from their everyday business practices.


He cites the shift towards home ownership and the public televising of some band council meetings as a few examples of this.


Sandberg estimates just under a dozen bands in the two provinces have begun to award homes to individual band members and their families.


He says despite the small number, the progress is still significant as bands can’t be expected to maintain homes forever.


Sandberg holds up Saskatchewan’s Whitecap Dakota First Nation as one example of a band that should be emulated.


He says its ability to generate non-governmental revenue is creating wealth for its residents.


Sandberg also says casinos have begun to pay for some tribal council positions in the province.


He says, before, those salaries were taken out of program dollars.