The foundation for building successful First Nations communities across Nova Scotia includes forming a positive relationship with the province’s new government, encouraging economic development on reserves and ensuring training opportunities for the people who live there, says the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs.

Those basic building blocks are now more vital than ever, the congress says, as the “worldwide economic downturn has created an urgent need for provincial investment in First Nations.”

“The first people impacted by a financial crisis are new entrants into the industry, including most aboriginal businesses and their employees,” reads a list of priorities that the province’s 13 elected chiefs plan to discuss at this week’s annual general Assembly of First Nations in Calgary.

 

Atlantic Policy Congress executive director John Paul added, “a strong government-to-government relationship” between band leaders and Premier Darrell Dexter’s NDP will help many native communities move from a “scenario of dependence ... to one of a more positive focus toward the future.”

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