Researching Best Practices in Sustainable Community Development
Since 2009, we’ve been working on an exciting research project to document the success of the Metis Nation of Alberta, which has combined an entrepreneurial spirit with traditional wisdom to create a thriving business and important cultural centre for their people.
The Nation has developed the very successful Metis Crossing, a cultural centre that is a destination for the Metis to celebrate their culture and traditions, a learning centre for adjacent communities and a thriving tourist destination.
Metis Crossing is located approximately 100 km northeast of Edmonton. In operation since August 2005 as a for-profit venture, it includes a campground and zip line, a stage for performances, and a cultural exhibit of artifacts. Metis Crossing is a popular destination for several dozen school groups each year, and it is home to an annual summer camp for Metis youth as well as many celebrations and gatherings for Metis people.
The research project has consisted of in-depth interviews and site visits to gather information and identify best practices. It is hoped that by sharing the success stories of the Metis and other rural Alberta communities that other First Nations will develop a deeper understanding of how a focus on business and economic development can drive positive social change.