Thursday, January 26, 2012

Chief Louie - Osoyoos Indian Band

Heard the start of a program on CBC this afternoon that featured the Osoyoos Indian Band. WOW, their chief, Clarence Louie, is my kind of aboriginal leader! He has some tough talk for the native communities. He states that welfare is the WORST thing to have happened to the aboriginal population.

"The band does not owe its membership dependency. It owes them opportunity and a chance to become independent"
-Chief Clarence Louie

His band is a great example of how a band and reserve lands should be run: as the launching point for culture, business, education and opportunity. In addition to having the ONLY aboriginal owned and operated winery in North America, they have a golf course, construction company, resort and spa, and a ski corporation, to name a few. Check out their website for more info: Osoyoos Indian Band

"We are very focused on the future, and we realize that we create this future by our actions. The single most important key to First Nation self-reliance is economic development."
-Chief Clarence Louie

I hope that other native leaders see this band as a great example of the opportunities that are available. The only question in my mind is what to do with communities that are in areas that are not sustainable, ie economically viable for industry. In the meantime, someone grab me a bottle from NK'MIP Cellars!

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