I think one of the biggest hopes I have is that as indigenous people we're getting into all different facets of society, and one of them is the aboriginal financing officers organization. I think it's called the AFOA. I know that in Swampy Cree some members from there are part of this AFOA. They are very capable and very intelligent in dealing with finances.
I think we just need more capacity building on that level and on the management level to start to address a lot of the concerns that even our communities have in how we manage our finances. We assume that every chief should know how to finance and how to manage their books, but chiefs are chiefs, and they're elected to lead the community. They're not necessarily elected to run the books, but I think we give that false hope on that. It's a racist policy when we think that we should control everything that the chief does and that they're responsible for everything that the community is responsible for.
Really, we need a lot of help in our communities in capacity building. Like it is for any municipal city, it is important to build that capacity at all levels, including the financial area and management.
We're now in a new age. I know that a lot of people want to go back to the old ways and start living off the land, and I commend people who want to do that and want to live that way, but at the same time, there are a lot of other people who want to look forward and build their communities in a modern, current way. There are ways for them to do that are still respectful to our first nations. I think a lot of people are already thinking that way. You'll see that a lot of our communities are actually managed very well. We don't hear enough about those. The ones that manage their communities and affairs very well are the ones that are able to have consistent leadership in their communities. We don't see enough of that.
The communities that are suffering the most, I believe, are the ones impacted directly by the Indian Act, with the short-term election and the terms they're living under. By the time they get their footing and understand all the requirements of running a community as a chief, it's time for them to go, and then someone else has to start all over again. That's a policy of the Indian Act, which talks about when the elections should be run. Unfortunately, it was built that way—to fail—and I think we need to change that. I know that some communities are going into four-year terms now, and that's going to help a lot, but we need to do that across the board and start looking at the policies that are not helping.