A First Nation Economic Development Model

Carole Delion


Achieving balance is not an easy task for First Nations, as there are numerous obstacles to overcome by manoeuvring through the legislative processes at the federal and provincial jurisdictional levels.  The goal of this paper is to explore how to grow a sustainable economic development model within a First Nation, using the example of Aamjiwnaang First Nation, a small community that is located in southern Ontario. It will document the development and evolution of Aamjiwnaang’s economic development model, named A Healthy Tree, which is founded on Elder and Aamjiwnaang Chief Gerald Maness, Sr.’s concept of the community as a tree.  The paper will demonstrate the steps taken and the best practices used for turning obstacles into opportunities.  Finally, it will address a major issue facing the Aamjiwnaang Band Council:  how it can proceed when the Head Lease expires in 2025.

Keywords: First Nations, communities, economic development, strategic planning, industrial parks

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15353/pced.v16i0.62


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