An alternative method of implementing capital facilities on Indian reserves in Northern Manitoba : a case study of the Shamattawa School Project

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Cloete, Keith.
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Conditions for community life on the vast majority of Indian Reserves in Canada is deplorable. Indian communities are characterized by abject poverty, malnutrition, poor health, high infant mortality rates, minimal education and economic underdevelopment. The policies of the Government of Canada have done much to reinforce the dependent state of the Indian community. The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development which manages one of the largest capital construction programs wihtin the federal government, is responsible for the plcement of capital facilities on Indian reserves. Although the level of funding allocated to that program has been substantial its impact on improving the lot of the Indian has been insignificant. This study proposes a method of implementing capital projects which would be conductive to self-development. It examines the process used by DIAND in putting a major project in place and the difficulties encountered in making the project serve the needs of the community. It attempts to show that a major project can go a long way in facilitating development on a remote community in Northern Manitoba. However, it also shows that the desire for self-determination must come from within the community, if the community wants to reduce its dependence on the Crown.