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Chief touts jobs as key to future

<p>A controversial First Nations leader was preaching to the pin-striped choir yesterday at the Edmonton Economic Development Corp.’s annual luncheon saying the only way for aboriginal people to help themselves was to go out and get work.</p>

Aboriginal people need to get out and work: Louie




« Don’t go out of the country for your labour needs, go to your neighbours, the First Nations. »






A controversial First Nations leader was preaching to the pin-striped choir yesterday at the Edmonton Economic Development Corp.’s annual luncheon saying the only way for aboriginal people to help themselves was to go out and get work.





“Today being a real warrior means having a job,” Chief Clarence Louie of the southern B.C. Osoyoos Band told a rapt crowd of the city’s business and political elite at the shiny new Hall D at the Shaw Convention Centre.





Louie said 90 per cent of funding to First Nations groups goes to social programs and only four per cent to economic development.





He then went on to tout the success of his band and credited the work ethic of his people and help he gets from business leaders. The Osoyoos band runs a successful winery, vineyards, a resort, golf course and is developing a ski hill in concert with U.S. backers.





Edmonton will be facing major problems as its aboriginal population grows, he said, forecasting First Nations people will make up 20 per cent of the city’s population in the near future.





And while immigration is not a bad thing, he said, Canadians should look within the country when confronting labour shortages, solving two problems at once.





“Don’t go out of the country for your labour needs, go to your neighbours, the First Nations.”




rob.mclauchlin@metronews.ca

 
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