by Mimiges Brownroad - Contributor

Greetings my friends of Mi’kma’ki. After my mid-summer travels along the highways of rural, but expanding regions, I would like to share a few thoughts about “economic development”. As a Brownroad walker (Red-cultural Road and Green-environmental Road) I have a biased perspective on what I believe are holistically healthy paths of community development.

When I took a macro economics course years ago two things surprised me and have stayed with me: 1) An “economy” is not necessarily about money. Money is only a medium; it is the goods and services, resources produced and exchanged that are the network we call an economy. This can be simply the old timers way of bartering for resources and labour. This too, is economy, which I believe we are undervaluing today; 2) In our mainstream economy of North America, our market system actually has many loopholes where true “values” and “costs” are not accounted for. These are things like social, health and environmental values and costs. Perhaps if we calculated everything more, we might make different economic decisions.

With this in mind, when we have Mi`kmaw families, a whole community or region struggling financially (money-wise), our strongest concerns are about the health and welfare for the people. We don`t worry if they have a new, more powerful truck, or if they have three televisions and cable tv; we worry about things like: that they can afford healthy food, clothes, gas to get to work/scho ...

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