The Idle No More protests were in reaction to Ottawa’s agenda when it comes to Aboriginal policy.
But there are a number of initiatives that First Nations can voluntarily opt into and benefit from.
The First Nations Land Management Act is federal legislation that allows bands to control their own land and resources.
In a similar vein, bands can be certified by the First Nations Financial Management Board.
It allows them to borrow millions of dollars at preferential rates.
First Nations can also be certified under the ISO 9001 program, an internationally recognized standard that makes communities more attractive to outside investors and businesses.
The Membertou First Nation in Sydney Nova Scotia is a good example of a band that has benefited from this.
Unfortunately, many First Nations are not even aware of some of these voluntary initiatives.
The bands that have followed such a path can now boast that the majority of their revenues come from their own initiatives, rather than relying on federal policy bureaucrats.
Rather than investing time and resources on initiatives that may ultimately be rejected, the government should do more to promote voluntary initiatives that will benefit First Nations.
I’m Roger Currie. Join us again next week for more thoughts on the Frontier.
For more on Aboriginal policy, visit our website www.fcpp.org.