I really appreciate the question, because we often don't understand what we mean by “social enterprise”. We look at Indian bands as orders of government, and we don't understand that as they realize their aboriginal rights and title, they become social enterprises. I think the challenges we face in our social enterprises are no different from the challenges we face as indigenous people, in that we don't have access to capital and we don't have long-term revenue streams, and it's very difficult for us to produce strategies that provide confidence to the investment community.
I think that has to come from a recognition that, first of all, we are social enterprises in indigenous communities. Historically, we were, before European contact. We had economies that on the west coast stretched from Alaska to Mexico. We provided for our communities from those social enterprise efforts. That has not been recognized. Once we became wards of the government and we were marginalized from the economy, we weren't allowed to do that anymore.
As a consequence of that, we haven't been able to build wealth. If you look at the biggest challenge we face as indigenous communities, either in our businesses or our governments, it's that we've been marginalized and we've not been able to establish the platform to build wealth and to have a balance sheet.
Those things have to change, and that comes through a new fiscal relationship and the continued access, because of secure revenue streams, to access capital and manage what we choose. Those are the biggest issues. Then, as governments within our communities we can support, as a government in our community, those social enterprises that are created in the areas where we live. That is no different than other orders of government do.