An Employment strategy for three Metis settlements in Alberta
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AbstractThis study focuses on issues and approaches related to economic development in three Metis Settlements in north-central Alberta. Residents of these centres view the lack of an economic base as the main reason underlying their social problems and their dependency on government. This study recommends specific economic incentives to address this concern and to advance community well-being and self-determination. A review of regional development literature shows that traditional approaches (e.g., industrial location grants) have largely bypassed remote communities. Instead, this study advocates the targetting of incentives directly to the client group. A combination of jobs, training and business services is advised as the most direct way to facilitate economic improvements. This advice is given together with the need to understand the diversity of Metis Settlement culture in making economic prescriptions. The study profiles socio-cultural differences so that residents' objectives (and problems) may be dealt with as they exist, not as they might be perceived by outside agencies. A set of policy recommendations is developed that weighs public costs against distributional concerns. A process of administrative transfer (led by the transfer of economic program budgets) is advanced as a cost-effective step in Metis job and business creation. By assuming more control over economic planning, the Settlements become partners in development, not simply clients of an end product. A regional, Metis-operated employment service agency is recommended as the mechanism to achieve this. A major economic proposal for the Metis Settlements is analysed as a case study. A tri-Settlement wood-products plant is critiqued from the perspective of local employment concerns.
Bibliography: p. 143-153.