M’Chigeeng community drafts roadmap to the future

M’CHIGEENG­––Following a series of community consultations with M’Chigeeng First Nation members over several years, a draft comprehensive community plan entitled ‘Creating Our Future’ is ready for prime time at a final community meeting to be held 11 am to 6 pm on Saturday, January 31 at Lakeview School.

“I think the Comprehensive Community Plan is important for the community and for the leadership, chief and council, because it was developed from input from the membership as to what they would like to see us do over a long period of time,” said M’Chigeeng First Nation Chief Joe Hare. “That is where we get our direction from; they originate from that document. Band members have been asked what they think and they responded. That is what will be guiding this community over the next 10, 20 years.”

The document certainly lives up to its name, being truly comprehensive in nature. The document not only lists goals and visions for 13 sectors ranging from health and wellness through to off-reserve members, the plan outlines strategies and directions designed to meet those goals.

The topics covered include the aforementioned health and wellness and off-reserve chapters as well as life-long learning, prosperity development, governance, public sector management, justice, social development, cultural development, infrastructure development and management, housing, lands and environment management and emergency response.

“A community plan is not the same thing as a strategic plan of the type often made by chiefs and councils and various departments,” reads an explanatory preamble. “A comprehensive community plan is the action framework within which all strategic plans will now need to be made. It defines the primary vision and strategies for moving the First Nation and its people forward on the path of progress towards a sustainable life.”

The document is called a community plan because it draws its life and foundation from community members themselves. As such, notes the document, “a comprehensive plan is not something to be ignored or superceded by successive groups or elected leaders. On the contrary, a comprehensive community plan should be a fundamental charter for nation building that provides a continuity and a guie to steady progress across successive administrations.”

A video clip statement from Chief Hare can be found on The Expositor website at manitoulin.ca.