Spring is set to officially begin within the next few weeks. Let’s hope that spring brings warmer weather and less precipitation.
With spring, the renewal process begins once again. This is similar to our business climate in Saskatchewan with the anticipated unveiling of the new provincial budget on March 18.
Let’s hope the provincial budget doesn’t result in a drought on important budget items such as the Municipal Operating Agreements (MOG), where Saskatchewan municipalities are dependent on receiving their share of 1% of the PST. Let’s also hope that critical areas such as infrastructure, healthcare, and education & training receive adequate funding to allow Saskatchewan to continue its growth planning and readiness in anticipation of improved markets in oil, potash, or uranium.
Recently the Chamber hosted the workshop Understanding Treaties – Opportunity for Doing Business with First Nations. The workshop was very well received and offered attendees strong insights into the history and culture of Saskatchewan Aboriginals. It focused on the creation of the treaties and their relevance in today’s business world. The presentations offered insights that dispelled myths and provided education on the various factors and events that shaped the past, present and future for Aboriginals.
Today, one doesn’t have to search far to gain information on the various struggles and challenges that stem from the Treaties and resulting Indian Act. A review of the daily news will result in insights into the challenges and needs that are very apparent in First Nations Education, Health care, Justice and infrastructure.
Saskatchewan’s Treaty Commissioner Mr. George Lafond provided a very poignant presentation during the workshop, which focused on the importance of relationships and how critical trust remains as efforts to build and deepen relationships continue. The Commissioner presented the view that everyone must share in the duties and responsibilities to improve the current state of relationships, and build trust and understanding between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals. As we are all the “sons and daughters of the Treaty making process,” we must share in reconciling the past and embrace a future that builds on the strengths.