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Lethbridge Herald Newspaper Archives

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Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - December 11, 1973, Lethbridge, Alberta December 1973 LETHBRIDGE Saskatchewan economic experiment now the focus of hostility By GARRY FAIRBAIRN LA Sask. Eighteen months the Saskatchewan govern- ment launched an experi- ment designed to end poverty and economic stagnation in the northern half of the province. the ex- creation of a department of northern the focus of misunder- fear and hostility on the part of the people it was set up to help. Department spokesmen attribute much of the feel- ing to justified skepticism regarding government promises and to what they describe as radicals who won't try to understand the department's problems and limitations. When concrete gains are the spokesmen northerners will fully accept the department Critics charge the department with under- mining its own stated occasioned racism and patronage in awarding contracts. Ted the 43- yearnold department head who is known as northern Saskatche- admits that some mistakes have been but emphasizes the immen- sity of the task don't know of anywhere else in Canada or North America where they're trying to put into effect the amounts of change that we're trying to BASED IN NORTH As a first the department head- 500 being set up in La a northern community of Metis and Indians living in the townsite and sur- rounding clusters of including reserves. The department is the only one in Saskatchewan based outside Regina and officials hope this will mean closer liaison with the people it serves. The department is also combining services previously performed separately by a dozen departments. It has supervised crea- tion of a northern municipal council as part of a program to turn decision-making and spending power over to the northern frozen development of tourist facilities by non- promised a hous- ing program and announc- ed a grant or loan program to help northerners develop businesses Despite the department's high hopes for the council and its coming programs. to most northerners they are. so just promises PROGRESS SLOW When a reporter suggested to Mr. Bowerman that sounds as though DNS really hasn't done much more than bring administrators up from the South and build homes for he may be right At this point in you may be He agreed that the department's plan to build 125 houses a year in the North for five an annual cost of million out of an annual departmental budget of take too long to meet the housing not enough but it's as much as we can He said that the depart- ment wants to train northern natives to build the houses and this limits annual production. going to be criticized for being slow but hopefully the development 'will be more what northern people The department's move to La Ronge has sparked criticism from who say the move has worsened the housing and race relations situation there POINTS TO SHACKS Frank -Tomkins of the Metis describing the La Ronge community to reporters on a bus contrasted the modern homes of the de- partmental staff with the substandard homes of natives there He pouited to two board structures about eight feet without water or said rents paid by natives there are from to a month. On the separation of the native and civil servant Mr. Bowerman says that arose because the department took over houses built for workers at a mine that had closed If it were being done over he he would have the civil ser- vants dispersed through the community. Another Metis Society Rod says northerners reject the department's actions and he points to the recent northern municipal council elections as evidence. Of the five elected coun- four were spon- sored by the which did not campaign in the fifth constituency. DISPUTED BY MINISTER Mr. how- has a different view don't think it is the people in the North who are criticizing DNS at the moment. I think it's the Metis Society It is estimated that 45 per cent of northerners-are Metis or non-party-status 45 per cent treaty- status mainly on reserves and under federal and the rest whites. Independent observers like Robert the North's travelling and even some departmen- tal officials such as Art social worker bas- ed in say the Metis Society represents the views of the vast ma- jority of northern natives. The general hostility and suspicion expressed by society spokesmen representative of natives' the greatest Continued Page 22 Hawaii. Spend iwo glorious in Hawaii with Sunfiighi from l price per person double occu Pacific Airlino oihcrSunfiichi 10 choose from Prices subject to supplement season 5349. Sunflight Canada's Number One Drop or phone A. NT A. TRAVEL AGENCY 608-5th Ave. Lethbridge Phone 328-1181 or 328-7921 OFFICE OPEN MONDAY THRU SATURDAY 9 A.M TO 5 P.M. AMPLE FREE CUSTOMER PARKING Tractors Equipment JAMES D.TUTTLE Sales Manager KAYEOTSUKA Bookkeeper DON DALKE President GARYOHLMAN Service Manager ED HORAK Parts Manager BILL HNATIUK Shop Foreman BILL HAMILTON Mechanic From all the gang at SOUTHLAND FORD we wish you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY and PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR NICK BODNER Mechanic South Alberta's TOTAL Customer Service Outlet SOUTHLAND FORD 311-33rd STREET LETHBRIDGE i FORD TRACTORS AND ;