Researcher Urges Native People To Leave Reserves

Monday, April 14, 2008 at 13:53



A Winnipeg-based think tank says First Nations in Canada would do well to emulate the Maori Indians of New Zealand.


Joseph Quesnel, with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, is the author of a new report which examined Indigenous peoples in four different countries — Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada.


Quesnel says statistics show the Maori, who operate under one treaty, have managed to shrug off dependence on their government through a variety of different means.


He explains one of these was to create a detailed strategy for education.


Quesnel’s paper concludes First Nations people tend to do better once they leave reserve — making an average of $5,000 a year more than their on-reserve counterparts.


However, he acknowledges some of his statistics come from a study which included Metis and other Aboriginal groups in its numbers.


Quesnel says he knows he idea of abandoning the reserve is controversial, but argues the statistics show the reserve system is outdated and holding back the socio-economic success of band members.