| Bookmark and Share

On Trailbreakers this week: Working it out, and getting to work.

IMG-20111019-00013.jpgThis week, we take two looks at how some First Nations are turning to very non-traditional models to make their Reserves both successful and gainfully employed.

Listen to Chief Clarence Louis:

Download Flash Player to view this content.

Listen to Rina Bright:

Download Flash Player to view this content.

IMG-20111019-00021.jpgIn Osoyoos, Chief Clarence Louis is shaking things up with a restaurant where you can eat BC Salmon on the patio, while drinking Pinot Noir from the first Aboriginal owned and operated winery in North America. Just one of the innovative new industries there. But, does it serve the needs of the actual rez residents? And, are jobs in restaurants really what Indigenous folks should be striving for?


Rina Bright grew up on the Sandy Bay First Nation, a community where the doctor showed up once a week, and the dental office was a school hallway. Today she's a teacher at Children of the Earth School in Winnipeg, dedicated to a special program aimed at Aboriginal students who want to become health care workers. In this unique model, Rina stays with her students for four years, as they get the chance to work in clinics and assist in surgeries. Rina believes this program is a powerful way to increase the number of Aboriginal people working in health care in Canada. And it's a program we desperately need, especially when you consider that Aboriginal people make up more than 4% of Canada's population, but less than 0.25% of the physicians.