Delaying the bill is a good idea, scrapping it altogether would be better.
I don’t wish to take anything away from the noble objectives of B.C.’s
aboriginal community, but resource management is not their strong suit.
To be sure, there are pockets of aboriginal leadership out there. The
Osoyoos Indian Band … has become a $14-million-a-year business, and manages a golf course, a full-service hotel, a vineyard, a construction firm and a forest company.
But the Osoyoos Band is the exception, and therein hangs the problem with a one-size-fits-all native development bill.
Few, if any, other B.C. native bands have the leadership skill sets to
manage their resources.
It’s curious, isn’t it? The one constant issue in native negotiations is
recognition of land ownership, yet there’s no evidence of any collective native ability to manage that land.
Also: Government, natives and business: Collision is possible, but not unavoidable (Globe and Mail; March 20, 2009)