Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Wisdom from Chief Louie

And then a little more from the Leader Post...

There's no room for blaming the government or slacking in the world of Clarence Louie, who brought his uncompromising vision of how First Nations people can achieve economic success to Saskatchewan at the weekend.

Speaking to an economic forum organized by Carry the Kettle First Nation, Louis spelled out the basics, from getting a good education and working hard to strict budgeting. Louie says First Nations people have to build their own future and not rely on government handouts.

"If the biggest employer on your reserve is your band office, something's wrong there," Louie says.

While the tough talk is aimed firmly at a First Nations audience, Louie's message has lessons for all of us.

In Regina, for example, the provincial government is the "band office", employing thousands of people in departments and Crown corporations. Restrictive, union-friendly labour laws have long dimmed this province's appeal to outside investors.

A sense of entitlement leads many to believe all our problems will be solved if Ottawa just sends us more money.

And for decades, while Alberta rolled up its sleeves and built a boom, Saskatchewan stagnated in envy.

Louie's plea for First Nations to rediscover the work ethic of their ancestors can equally be applied to non-First Nations people applying the determination of Saskatchewan's agricultural pioneers.

"Get off your butt," is a universal message.

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