Political instability problem for native communities both side of border

Blog, Poverty, Joseph Quesnel

Political instability is a major impediment to business and investment on First Nations reserves in Canada. It is a problem right up there with land ownership restrictions and lack of access to capital.

This is also a problem identified on Native American reservations as well.

This piece by the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) identifies some of the obstacles faced by one Las Vegas developer who wanted to develop a project along the Grand Canyon with the Hualapai Indian tribe.

The lack of confidence in tribal business and legal practices was the major obstacle and prevented the investment.

This quote by Nancy Vermeulen, a banker in Billings, Mont., to Forbes says it all: “We take on such a huge extra risk with someone from the reservation. If I knew contracts would be enforced, then I could do a lot more business there.”

The federal government has brought forward reforms to improve legal certainties surrounding reserve lands. First Nations and the government need to work closer together to overcome these obstacles in order for these communities to improve.