The short answer is yes. We've done studies. We've done career studies. In one case of Ontario and Quebec, four kids out of 444 said they wanted to be an astronaut. Whether you're aboriginal or non-aboriginal, if you're a child of poverty, you lose hope by age five. So this is an issue of poverty, not an issue of being aboriginal or non-aboriginal.
What we are building—and we have examples we can provide to Mr. Shory in terms of evidence from Diavik to Syncrude. The northerners are way ahead of the southerners when it comes to really building partnerships. They're building leadership schools. They actually see a vision of getting people, like Dave Tuccaro, who was just inducted into the Business Hall of Fame.
We now have and are starting to build millionaires. We're building a middle class, just like the African-Americans did. It's at a turning point. It's not a tipping point yet, but there are some turning points in this country.
I know the economic development strategy very well, Mr. Shory. Three of those pillars are partnerships, entrepreneurship, and human capital. I think the partnership framework is the right one, the economic framework. I think what you've heard here is some of the frustrations when it comes to the funding. I'm saying, “Look ahead and forecast”.
There are only three places to put the money: social assistance—and I'm glad you brought up disabilities. I also want to bring up inmates. I'm on Mr. Toews' CORCAN, Corrections Canada national advisory group. It's social assistance, prisons, or education and employment.
Aboriginal people want to work. They've worked for hundreds of years, thousands of years. There's a proud tradition of work from the fur economy to the iron workers to today. What's really making another difference is aboriginal entrepreneurs, because they're running right smack into the same issues any employer does. You want to hire your own people, but you have to have the skills, the education, and the attitude. So the beauty of aboriginal entrepreneurship and all the procurement that's been happening is that they've pulled people to the same issues: education, employment, and, of course, development of that work attitude.
That's why summer jobs, by the way, are so important. All of us have had opportunities to learn those work skills somewhere through part-time jobs and through summer jobs. If we erode those types of programs, we're actually eroding that productivity agenda I mentioned earlier.