First Nations studying municipal structures

The Rainy Lake Ojibway Education Authority is taking its place in the history books by offering a municipal administration course to First Nations people for the first time ever.
Program co-ordinator Bill Perrault said the course was being offered in anticipation of self-government.
“When self-government starts coming down, [area chiefs] want to be able to incorporate the way a municipality is run with the way a band is run,” he noted yesterday, adding they wanted to integrate the two styles.
And it’s something the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario finds exciting.
“We think its wonderful,” AMCTO deputy executive director Joanne Young-Evans enthused.
By taking the course, Young-Evans noted the bands would be able to extrapolate what might work for them–and also learn what didn’t work for other municipal administrations.
“It certainly will give them a flavour of whether it will work for them or not,” she remarked, adding it also gave the AMCTO some exposure. “It’s a win-win situation for everyone.”
The four-unit course, which is being taught by Fort Frances treasurer Carol Busch (who is using her holidays to teach it two days a week), focuses on the history, structure, policy, finances, and strategic planning involved with a municipal government.
“When they complete this course, they will be able to write for their AMCTO designation if they so desire,” Busch said, adding that would happen in February.
In order to write the designation, Young-Evans noted the people would have to become AMCTO members.
AMCTO is the largest not-for-profit municipal association in Ontario, with 2,500 volunteer members. Formed 60 years ago, its goal is to foster excellence in local government.
Fort Frances CAO Bill Naturkach is the president of the AMCTO this year.