Context for Our Strategic Process
The Strategic Plan is informed by many documents and sources, including the revised NCN Kihche’othasowewin (Constitution), Multi-Year Planning Survey, First Nation Infrastructure Investment Plan, Community Surveys, Wuskwatim PDA, PDA Supplement 2, Strategic Planning Overview and community meetings. A Strategic Planning Process with Chief and Council and NCN organization managers and directors were the primary input into the Plan. These documents and workshop meetings set out broad objectives, which the plan translates into priorities and goals for Chief and Council and administration to act upon. The strategies are also given a realistic time frame recommendation.
NCN has been working towards a fully self-governing First Nation and has achieved great successes over the past several decades. NCN has become a recognized leader among First Nations in Manitoba and Canada. Actively encouraging economic development, NCN nurtures relationships and partnerships with other businesses and governments, invests heavily in economic development, is responsible for its own infrastructure and works to provide increasingly enhanced services to its Citizens. NCN will continue to build on the past successes and leverage all reasonable opportunities with targeted strategic direction.
The strategic process has identified immediate and long-term challenges, focused on NCN’s core strengths and works to enhance opportunities that can be leveraged or created by achievable means. An inventory of resources, to grow these opportunities, has been identified or in some cases, initiatives to create new resources, assets, capital or work forces have been proposed.
A Message From Chief and Council
Our Strategic Plan for our Nation embodies Chief and Council’s pledge to work alongside our Citizens, partners, organizations and Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) entities to lay the visionary foundation for our shared future. A strong relationship between NCN Citizens and their elected representatives is crucial to ensuring a sturdy and effective decision-making process.
This current Strategic Plan builds on past accomplishments and is a result of the NCN Government’s defining its new direction. It also extends to guide the implementation as we work to ensure a better future, improve lifestyles and enhance programs, services and infrastructure for NCN Citizens.
The process involved intensive Strategic Planning with the support of NCN Citizen consultants Hilda Anderson-Pyrz and Inez Vystrcil-Spence, and an executive team of planners, facilitators and trainers.
A Strong, Tight-knit Nation of Proud People
We not only look to making things better for our Citizens, youth and Elders, both on- and off-reserve, but also try to map out a clear vision and foundation for tomorrow – for our children, our grandchildren, great grandchildren and future generations.
We recognize the actions of our NCN Government must maintain traditions and cultural practices. We have a responsibility to ensure the health and well-being of our Citizens; and to preserve, protect and enhance the heritage defined by our ancestors.
Our children and youth will grow and become our leaders and influence the decisions our NCN Government makes. It is with them in mind that we must consider the long-term growth of our Nation.
The Land Continues to Shape Our Nehetho Nation
We have survived for thousands of years in our territory, on this land, over these waterways, and we took care of each other while the land provided for us. We met each other’s needs and we carried our traditions with us. It is the knowledge of where we have been and a positive outlook and proactive approach that will shape and blaze the trail for our First Nation’s future.
In the past, we took only what we needed from the land to help us survive and we honoured all that the Creator offered us. Today, our land still provides for us in many ways. We continue to explore opportunities to use and develop our resources while seeking the balance in taking only what we need and offering respect in return. With proper strategies and management of the land and resources, we will continue to share the land and its bounty.
Economic Development is Growing Opportunities
Our economy is important for creating opportunities to prosper as a Nation. Developing our Citizens’ skills and training, along with resources and our land, help us to grow a better economy. We continue to explore every opportunity to enter into special arrangements, agreements and partnerships, with governments and corporations to increase funds for the Nation. Strategies to maximize these funds provide new and enhanced programs, services and benefits for our people.
Improving Our Self-sufficient Self-Government
As we move out of the era of dependency on other Governments, our NCN Government and our Nation must change the way we contribute to the decisions our NCN Government makes and the actions it takes. We must shape our Nation as a self-sufficient Nation that makes its own decisions. NCN will exchange current federal policies and programs for new ones that are in our best interests, as opposed to being in the interests of AANDC (INAC) or Provincial and Federal policies.
NCN is set to grow at a fast pace with respect to population growth, economic activity, and housing. That growth must be carefully managed to ensure environmental sustainability and a quality of life that is protected and enhanced. Self-sufficiency must be balanced with ensuring continued growth in lifestyle.
Instilling Transparency, Accountability, and Effective Communication
Actions and impacts of our NCN Government’s decisions must be founded on effective communication and openness with the Nation. Proper communication involves not only consultation, but also includes reporting on results of various initiatives. Where appropriate, informing Citizens will include public meetings or referendums that allow each of our Citizens a direct method to express their opinions. Transparency and communication must be at the core of all decisions.
Committed to Financial Responsibility
NCN Government will ensure that revenues and expenditures are carefully monitored. Financial responsibility must be instituted at all levels of our NCN Government and staff. Accountability for program funding and monitoring the allocation of finances will become a standard practice.
Honouring Citizens with Fairness and Equality
We must ensure that NCN Citizens are treated on the basis of fairness, as we work towards improving our programming and services. This means that we will take all circumstances into account when making decisions. We will ensure the over-riding goal of achieving comparable quality standards and equality for all our Citizens is met. We will continue to listen to the ideas and innovations put forth by our people with fairness when developing strategies and action plans and conducting our business.
Creating a Political Balance within Our Nation
In a community the size of NCN, it is inevitable that relationships, family and community dynamics will complicate decisions at both political and organizational levels. NCN will ensure that planning, actions, laws and regulations are done to the best extent possible. When initiatives are proposed and implemented they must also be done impartially in a manner that is sensitive to the dynamics of our community and a true reflection of our Nation.
We hope the words contained in the Strategic Plan hold meaning and hope for all our Citizens. The intent of this Plan is not to be rigid, but to provide vision and direction for our NCN Government and people. It will guide us to where we hope to go and map out the way to get there.
We invite you all to keep an open mind and embrace the concepts, suggestions, reflections and principles captured in this document. It was done in the spirit of prosperity and aspirations to improve the well-being of NCN as a whole. We hope to preserve that spirit as this process unfolds and we all work together to implement the ideas and ultimately celebrate our achievements.
Chief and Council, Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation