It seems sad that Ervin Charleyboy is being targeted for standing up for what he believes in.
Everywhere in Canada communities are working hard to keep their young people in their home community. To achieve keeping young people in a community, it simply comes down to job creation.
If a community is not developing new sources of local employment and job opportunities, children who wish to capitalize on their education and skills must seek new horizons. This loss of developing and educated maturing children occurs even in communities such as Williams Lake. The advantage that the city has is that there are several employers large and small that can provide some employment opportunities for a percentage of these maturing children.
Regardless, the City of Williams Lake must continually work at finding new potential employers and attract them to this community.
Almost every community similar to Williams Lake has been founded on some form of basic economic development. Having one industry located in or near a community attracts other investments or services.
It is this growing interest in a community’s needs that makes a community attractive for others to invest in that community. Few First Nations communities have the opportunity to attract such investments to their community — most are increasingly dependent on government sources for the community’s very survival.
As we see in Greece, as that country’s economy has failed, public services are cut and in some cases eliminated. Should Canada’s economy ever fail as Greece’s has, there will be less money for all, including First Nations communities.
First Nations communities that desire to raise their community population above the poverty level, as government funding is often very minimal and can be reduced at any time, must seek out other sources of reliable revenue, as many progressive First Nations communities are doing now.
Trapping appears to be gone, tourism can only offer a small slice of the pie, guiding is much restricted and regulated, ranching is increasingly a rich person’s game, and forestry is coming to its limit.
Ervin Charleyboy is one man who can see the writing on the wall. A failure to read the signs will see many First Nations communities over time, without a growing population of maturing children, becoming increasingly dependent on an ever-reducing federal revenue source.