April 30, 2010
Majority of Band Residents Report Political Meddling in Businesses
Action needed to create division between politics and business
Separation of Business and Politics on Aboriginal ReservesAn important dimension of good governance is the extent to which local businesses are run independently, without excessive control being held by the band council. Where band councils and their families dominate the economy, this creates a major barrier to beneficial competition and economic development. To gauge residents’ perception of the relationship between local politics and local business, we asked our survey respondents to tell us whether “members of the band council or their family members run the Reserve’s independent service outlets.”
Source: The Third Annual Aboriginal governance Index. Available at www.fcpp.org
Unfortunately, our survey results suggest that members of band councils and their families may hold inappropriately powerful positions within the local economies of several bands. It is clear that many communities need to act aggressively to address this situation, to work to create a healthy division between politics and business. In order for sustained development and growth to occur in Aboriginal communities, it is important to ensure that those who control local politics do not also dominate economic activity.
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy
is an independent public policy think tank whose mission is "to broaden the debate on our future through public policy research and education and to explore positive changes within our public institutions that support economic growth and opportunity."