Why First Nations succeed.
The status of Canada’s First Nations is widely debated, but the debate is often based on abstract visions rather than actual evidence. Against the backdrop of the world-wide research findings on governance and economic progress, this paper marshals the empirical evidence on the factors that improve the well-being of Canada’s First Nations. Specifically, it synthesizes the results of eight studies that have used the Community Well-Being (CWB) Index as a measure of outcomes. The CWB, computed every five years by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, aggregates census data on income, employment, education, and housing in First Nation communities. The First Nations CWB average is about 20 points lower than for other Canadian communities, but there is tremendous variance among First Nations, creating the possibility of using empirical research to find what correlates with higher CWB scores.
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