I have thought for some time of how our aboriginal people have been offered and have accepted bad deals. Treaties were signed before aboriginals could truly understand the importance of individual rights and freedoms and also the incredible value of being a full participant in a modern society. Stuck in the poverty trap of the reservation system, many of these people produce little and consume much. it is a soul-destroying way to live.
My idea is to create special economic zones in a way similar to what China has done with huge success. Simply give aboriginal communities large swaths of unused and government owned land, much more than their current reservations, and at the same time establish a set of laws for these areas that are pro-freedom, pro-individual rights and pro-human. There would be no taxes on the investment, creation of capital or profit, only a low tax on consumption. Any business established there would be free to negotiate terms with the owners knowing laws that presently shackle and stifle businesses in the rest of the province would be void there. I believe that in short order these zones would build wealth like silicon valley is doing and not only would aboriginal people all have great job opportunities but the chance to start and build companies. In a decade or two these communities would be among the wealthiest in Canada instead of the poorest.
History shows how well this idea works - look at Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and other places that were dirt poor fifty years ago and now enjoy world-leading education, health and standard of living. Such places are magnets for wealth creators. What an opportunity to show the world that we have learned from the industrial revolution that freedom works and that we care enough for our aboriginal citizens to set them free of the yoke of the reservation system and make up for decades of bad policies. Give freedom a fighting chance then stand back and watch what people can do and how their abilities shine.