Dances with Dependency: Out of Poverty through Self-Reliance Hardcover – Feb 21 2008
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Dances with Dependency: Out of Poverty through Self-Reliance
Top Customer Reviews
Helin doesn't argue that we need to forget the injustices of the past, but the focus of the book is on the future. How do we make the future better for our aboriginal population? This is a truly important question, because the average standard of living for aboriginals, especially on-reserve, is simply terrible. We cannot accept this as a fact of life going forward; we must work to change it. How we might go about creating that change is the true subject of the book.
Obviously, given the present state of affairs, our current efforts to improve life for aboriginal people are not working. Yet Hanlin notes the government spends in the neighbourhood of 18 billion dollars each year on services for aboriginals and transfers to the reserves. He makes the reasonable argument that if money alone were capable of fixing the problem, we would have seen some success by now. Throwing more money at this issue will not make it go away.
Contrary to the content of some of the reviews here, Helin in fact praises aboriginal ingenuity and ability. He rightly says that long before the Europeans arrived, aboriginals had a thriving economy and culture, and they were able to achieve those civic successes through hard work and ingenuity: qualities he believes aboriginals still possess.
However, a person can be as hardworking as they want, but without opportunities they still may not get very far.Read more ›
The book makes a lot of sound arguments and gives a lot of practical advice. And in my own experience, most of the advice and ideas work in practice; FN communities that have largely been able to participate in resource development by way of increased employment, for instance, tend to have better standards of living. Individuals who are able to integrate into the economy are less dependent on government transfers and on the decisions made by an elite (small and close-knit) group of people that govern many FN communities.
I would expect a lot of people to vehemently disagree with what Helin writes and with his ideas. That doesn't mean the book isn't well-written and it doesn't mean the debate shouldn't be started. This book is very well-written, it has a First Nations perspective and as an instrument of increased debate in FN communities it is successful. There is more than one world-view in FN communities, despite what many of say, there are many opinions, there is a lot of diversity and this book introduces people to some of it.
Most recent customer reviews
Written with a genuine understanding of what is wrong with what is going on!Published 11 months ago by Gail Knutson