Indigenous Contributions to Manitoba Economy
Southern Chiefs' Organization (SCO) and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO) have partnered with Brandon University to research and document Indigenous economic contributions to the broader of Manitoba economy.
This project followed the First Nations principles of Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession (OCAP).
- To quantify spending amounts by Indigenous and First Nations peoples in Manitoba in order to calculate their contributions to the provincial economy.
- To examine existing urban reserves in Manitoba, which are growing in importance as a revenue source for First Nations; and
- To create projections of Indigenous population and labour force.
To read more about the Indigenous Contributions to Manitoba Economy project, please visit http://scoinc.mb.ca/indigenous-economy/.
Traditional practices such as hunting, fishing, and trapping are essential to First Nations and guaranteed in treaty rights. In order to foster these industries, SCO aims to help protect the environment so the habitat required allows for these industries to grow. We will also look to expand access to both regional and international markets by reaching out to industry at home and abroad to find the best prices for our member's products. We will partner with accredited weapons safety groups to ensure the safest possible practices. With calls from the province to begin to regulate certain aspects of hunting, Grand Chief Jerry Daniels feels it best to put mechanisms in place to ensure that treaty rights are respected and any regulation related to them is managed by First Nation communities themselves.
The Hunting Association will work to build a network of traditional practitioners from SCO Nations, to build connections with industry and to act as liaison with Manitobans to ensure that any concerns they have regarding these traditional practices are addressed. They will work with Elders to build a governance structure and work with industry to minimize costs and maximize returns. They will look into innovative ways to use any waste products, such as scraps for pet food, fish emulsion for fertilizers and top dressing for landscaping. They will work with groups like Ducks Unlimited to restore marshland which provides habitat for hunting, fishing, traditional medicines, and foods like wild rice. This will also begin to address long term flood mitigation, as marshlands can hold significant amounts of water and disperse them slowly. As they are also massive carbon sinks, funding should be available to move this forward.
In conjunction with the Assembly of First Nations, SCO held a Housing Conference in Brandon to begin to address the housing crisis faced by SCO-member Nations. To accomplish this, we invited Red River College to speak on capacity building in relation to housing, from trades to administration and management of related industries. Fisher River spoke on their successes with Castle to address the supply side capacity issues related to home building. We invited the Canadian Red Cross in to speak on the emergency management related to housing. We also invited various community members to speak on different housing projects they are involved with to show options that are already working. SCO spoke on disability access and a cost benefit analysis of a variety of housing models, as well as mould mitigation, in order to allow our member Nations to have a full, holistic picture of their housing options.
To build on this work, we have begun to build a Housing Authority which will continue to facilitate a solution to the housing crisis faced by our member nations. Pending approval it will create pilot programs for innovative housing styles, to reduce maintenance costs and mould mitigation and to begin to create the capacity for disaster and emergency management through a partnership with the Red Cross. This will be done in full consultation with all SCO members to address housing and related funding shortfalls.