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A home-grown solution to First Nations poverty – Toronto Star

MentorNation will use crowdfunding to promote entrepreneurship among aboriginal Canadians.

Mon Nov 04 2013

Despite the federal government pumping billions of dollars into housing, education and health care on reserves throughout Canada, the standard of living of too many First Nations remains horrific, with rampant unemployment and substance abuse.

The Assembly of First Nations reports that a young person on a reserve is more likely to end up in jail than to graduate from high school. Suicide rates are five times higher than for young non-aboriginal Canadians. The aboriginal population is the fastest-growing in Canada, with almost 40 per cent under the age of 20.

If you’re like me, you’re frustrated by the unrelenting challenges that seem to make it impossible for aboriginal people to break the cycle of poverty, find decent jobs and foster some sense of sustainable economic development. For my entire life it has seemed like a never-ending problem with no way out. It doesn’t make sense and it’s impossible to believe it has to be that way.

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