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"We are Native people; we look after the land, we look after our spirit and we look after the people, and the businesses we developed to make this community a success must look after those three elements, so as we move forward our mission statement emphasizes this, that land, language and culture is equally as important as the profit and loss statements,"
- Tammy Drew, General Manager, Miawpukek First Nation, D'Espoir, Newfoundland

Transcript: Miawpukek First Nation

In the remote coastal town of Conne River, visitors from across Canada have gathered to experience the rich culture and heritage on display at Miawpukek First Nation's 15th annual pow-wow.

Located on the Island of Newfoundland, Miawpukek First Nation has gone from being poor and isolated with high unemployment to a strong and vibrant community with nearly 100% employment.

This small community of mostly Mik'maq band members, has taken on the  mandate of turning the reserve into an economic  self sufficient entity guided by traditional native values….to enhance the cultural, social and spiritual aspects of its people.

Officially established as a reserve in 1987, Miawpukek First Nation started on the road to economic self-sufficiency with small businesses endeavors like its Christmas tree farms, hunt camps and a small fishery …gradually expanding and re-investing into more businesses like Miawpukek Gas Bar and Convenience store.

We started with very few people …very few services of any kind going back to 1983 or 82 …. and since that we've managed to have 100% employment, all kinds of services, medical services, ambulance services, nurses on call 24 hours a day…we've taken over control of the school and we're, you know bringing out of the school on a regular basis 10-15 graduates every year that's going off to higher learning….

…And we've also had an incredible program for adults that went back and got higher learning and went off to Memorial University or some university, and come back to be part of our system…so it's an incredible place for young people to advance in anything they want to do

Today, Miawpukek First Nation has several partnerships with outside communities and corporations in ventures from tourism to aquaculture, providing a social and financial return to the Miawpukek Band Government, while employing band members.

Central to Miawpukek First Nation's governance, is an emphasis on cultural and traditional values and language. All policy-making from justice and social services through education has these values as its cornerstone to guide this First Nation into the future.

We are Native people; we look after the land, we look after our spirit and we look after the people, and the businesses we developed to make this community a success must look after those three elements, so as we move forward our mission statement emphasizes this, that land, language and culture is equally as important as the profit and loss statements.

Today the people of Miawpukek First Nation are enjoying life here, thanks to the economic opportunity developed within this rich cultural heritage…

To be able to educate our own children in this community and see them grow up and go off to university and come back to work for us, that's an incredible dream come true.

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