I'll leave it to these guys to maybe provide you with specific numbers. I can certainly say that it is amazing to me.
In the past number of months, when I've dealt with leadership, despite the significant challenges that they still face in their communities, their bands and their regions, they understand now and have confidence that this money is coming. They appreciate things like the 10-year grant, which I'm quite aggressive in promoting when I meet with leadership who have not yet applied. It allows them the ability to know about and plan for the next 10 years.
They are not having to reapply every year, and fill out paperwork for a program or something on an annual basis. I think there are enough people around this table who have worked for non-profits, or have worked in places where you are constantly reapplying for government funding.
The fact is that you have a limited pool of people in small communities who are doing this hard and meaningful work. If you can make sure that they spend more time concentrating on closing the gaps and making their communities more prosperous for all, instead of filling out paperwork needlessly, year after year, program by program, that is real. That is energy and time that they can now be dedicating toward the people, the quality of life of their people and the future prosperity of their people.
That is a very real and significant movement. Leadership now, knowing and feeling some assurance that our commitments are real, are feeling them on the ground. They are not where they need to get to yet, as the national chief keeps reminding me. He's quite right. This is not parity. Progress is not parity. We're not there yet.
They want to talk more about the issues of economic development. They're looking at wanting to become self-sufficient communities: “We do not want to be relying on government. We want to increase professional capacity within our communities. We want to be the ones doing the heavy lifting.”
It is really quite heartening to see that corner being turned by some leadership.