Answer the door!Wednesday, November 28, 2012 by: Joseph Corbiere
When opportunity knocks you still have to answer the door. Am I missing something or does anyone else see this?
It appears, that no one from the two reserves, Garden River and Batchewana have risen to answer the door. The four lane highway by-pass has been open for a few years and few businesses are utilizing this golden opportunity.
Garden River took advantage of the construction and were the first, if not only reserve to be a general contractor to construct a highway. Garden River negotiated a joint venture with Peter Kiewit construction company, which then constructed the highway.
Employment was generated for the construction phase. Two businesses are a result of the highway construction. The golf course appears to be doing well. The gravel operations are leased out, which is unfortunate. A non-Indian company is making money off of Indian resources. Oleee wah!!!
Yet, there is no gas station, service centre or even one smoke shop located on the new highway. There appears to be a lot of vehicles using the new highway, yet no one is tapping into the market literally driving by their front door.
I wonder who will be the next millionaire to set up a service centre, conference site or smoke shop in Garden River.
As for Batchewana, the negotiations for the 4 lane to continue through Rankin and hook up with second line has unfortunately stalled. Ironically, it may be a ½ mile or so of Batchewana property that is required to complete the deal. A very small piece of land. The city already owns a road allowance through the reserve. Actually the Band’s Blue Heron Industrial Park was set up to take advantage of bypass.
The Batchewana Band could leverage a lot of deals here. Opening of more residential land north of the proposed bypass could occur. The swamp could be drained. Negotiations could begin on outstanding land issues, including the original reserve, unapproved sales of Rankin property, securing resource based development in our traditional areas. Even figuring out who gave up our rights to the Gros Cap wind Mill projects would be beneficial. Sell outs and traitors should not be welcome.
The city owned property is adjacent to Sewell’s Gas station, proceeding westerly to hook up with the second line. If the stalled negotiations ever get moving, perhaps Batchwana can take advantage of the new proposed bylaw. It could make the Industrial park more successful. A conference designed to attract the millions of Indian dollars going into the Soo could spin through the reserve a few times.
Simply, developing independent sources of income that are used to leverage community development projects, would be extremely beneficial.
We have to get off the pity party routine. Kick out the Indian crabs.
Answer the door.