Chief Christian Sinclair of Opaskwayak Cree Nation is the guest on the show this week. He has watched his community grow out of tough economic conditions and utilized a land code and many tools of First Nation self-governance to provide a bright future of economic prosperity, protecting treaty rights and the environment. By comparison, Chief Sinclair says, staying under the Indian Act is akin to "an economic sanction"
00:26 Richard Perry introduces the episode and guest Chief Christian Sinclair of Opaskwayal Cree Nation in Manitoba (Treaty 5 territory).
01:25 Chief mentions response to Covid-19 scare in OCN.
02:52 When OCN was entering land code, he was serving overseas with the Canadian military and was not interested in politics, but is thankful leadership did the right thing.
03:44 Land code supported huge growth from 500 to more than 6,300 residents. It was required to fund infrastructure and business growth.
05:19 He was a personal victim of Indian Act delays when he tried to open a pizza shop.
06:27 OCN was close to 3rd party management and going bankrupt, so drastic changes were needed. Strong synergies among Land Code plus First Nations Finance Authority and First Nations Financial Management Board.
08:55 Youth engagement includes youth chief and councillors.
09:58 Credits leadership with taking on land code and praises national collaboration.
10:48 OCN land code includes very strong environmental protection and concern for traditional ways.
11:45 There have been some concerns to deal with, including fear over losing treaty rights. In fact, land code enhances treaty rights.
12:25 Overview of OCN own-source revenues since the economic turnaround.
14:45 He pinches himself everyday over their success and sees future growth.
16:04 OCN went big into the cannabis business.
17:41 Where Chief Sinclair sees his community five years from now. The days of million-dollar deficits are long gone. Continued synergies with national Indigenous organizations.
19:48 Reflections on national leaders and 25th anniversary.
21:38 Richard closes the show by promoting labrc.com.
Opaskwayak Cree Nation
First Nation Lands Management Resource Centre
Framework Agreement on First Nation Land Management
First Nations Finance Authority
First Nations Financial Management Board