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Impediments to the Economic Development of Nova Scotia's Largest Micmac Reserve

Daniel P. Strouthes

In this paper, I argue that the general poverty of the Canadian Maritimes requires that successful Nova Scotia Micmac economic development projects utilize medium-sized businesses, since small businesses cannot bring sufficient amounts of capital into the community to sustain the population. I further argue that the achievement of successful economic development on Nova Scotia's largest Micmac reserve, Eskasoni, is impeded by a general lack of knowledge of business principles, by political factors in band-owned businesses, and by a traditional, highly positive value on individualism in non-band-owned businesses. The traditional positive value on individualism, a survival from the Micmac hunter- gatherer past, prevents the growth of small non-band-owned businesses into medium-sized ones. Finally, I argue that the federal government should assist the Micmac with their economic development by encouraging medium-sized businesses to locate near reserves, and employ Micmac workers, which will bring additional money into the region and train Micmac workers in the skills needed to operate medium-sized businesses of their own.

High Plains Applied Anthropologist No. 1, Vol. 18, Spring, 1998 pp 42 – 46

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