Thursday, September 18, 2014
Text Size

Membertou senior adviser talks Ivany Report at Halifax Chamber of Commerce

'We all have to take the lead'

Greg McNeil

HALIFAX — First Nations success stories and the need to act now on the Ivany Report were among the topics addressed by Dan Christmas during an address to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday.

"I think the worst thing we can do is think that somebody else is going to take the lead," said Christmas, about the aspect of his speech referencing the Ivany Report.

"Everyone has a role and we all have to take the lead. It's not just government."

The senior adviser for Membertou spoke as part of the chamber's Distinguished Speakers Series luncheon.

Christmas is also a committee member for the commission that produced the economic development report, known as the Ivany Report, which stated that the province is barely able to support its current standard of living.

The One Nova Scotia Coalition created in the wake of the report announced last week that a detailed plan to tackle provincial issues would be developed by December 2015.

Christmas worries that people and organizations might consider taking a pause from the work that needs to be done until the report is issued.

"My overall message was 'let's not wait for the coalition to issue it's report a year and a half from now.' Let's get busy now and start working on making those changes now."

During his speech, Christmas also addressed the growing aboriginal population in Nova Scotia, a dramatically dropping unemployment rate among Mi'kmaq over the past 10 years and how groups like the Mi'kmaw Economic Benefits Office have reached out to business to promote and train young people as a potential source of skilled labour.

Christmas said much of this may have been new information to his Halifax audience.

"I think people know the story of Millbrook and Membertou just by driving by those communities, but I think that there is more of a realization that other First Nations are beginning to take the lead and making a difference in their areas."

Valerie Payn, president and CEO of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce, said the need to act now on the Ivany Report has Nova Scotians talking.

"We all have to work on those challenges and big opportunities that were put out in the Ivany Report," she said. "That's what Dan was saying, 'put your pedal to the metal and go, let's not wait any longer and figure out your piece and just run with it.' It sounds exactly what Membertou has been doing. He delivered a very strong and positive message here today."

As for the business success of First Nations communities, she said all Nova Scotians can learn from the partnerships and collaborations that have helped to make that happen.

"He indicated that individually the First Nations communities might not have been able to do certain things," she said. "When they collaborated and pooled their resources, all of a sudden all kinds of opportunities were able to be grasped."

Whatever Trevor

Dis is Trevor.

Education & Training

Blast from the past: FP archive

When is Consultation, Consultation?

Ovide Mercredi

National Chief – AFN

During a Treaty Roundtable meeting of the Alberta Chiefs, I took note of a federal government document outlining their strategy to define and ultimately impose their own form of self-government. Read more...

Letting go of residential schools

by Gilbert Oskaboose, Nov 1993 First Perspective

There is a lot of "unfinished business" in Indian Country. Garbage that we as a people have never really dealt with. Chief among them is the whole issue of those infamous residential schools and their impact on people. Read more...


obidiah picture

ANALYSIS - Bill Gallagher

gallagher picture

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit

Under the Northern Sky by Xavier Kataquapit


First Nations Cultural Interpreter PM – 02 Riding Mountain National Park Seasonal Indeterminate

(May to October) From $54,543 to $58,764

Closing Sept. 19, 2014

Read More

Regional Media Officer– Temp (Until Nov 2015) –F/T Position

Office of the Leader of the Official Opposition / NDP Research Office

Location:131 Queen Street, Suite 10-02, Ottawa, ON


Communicate regularly with regional media outlets (community newspapers, radio stations, student media, ethnic media, etc.) to propose ideas for interviews and opinion content Read more...

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Aboriginal Workforce Report

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report that highlights initiatives to improve the workforce participation of Aboriginal peoples. 

Opportunity Found: Improving the Participation of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada’s Workforce (December 2013)  

click image to download report

Tue Sep 23 @ 3:00PM - 04:15PM
FNHMA National Conference 2014
Sun Oct 05 @ 9:00AM - 05:00PM
INIHKD & Manitoba NEAHR Conference 2014


September 2014
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4

Current Video

RIP Percy Tuesday


Thanks to Althea Guiboche for allowing The First Perspective to share her video taken at the Manitowapow book launch at McNally Robinson. 

Percey sings Freddy Fender's "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights" and people join in to harmonize. 

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO): The Washington Redskins