We encourage business awareness and training for members on many levels. Youth are encouraged to get involved in community economic development planning. As well, we encourage entrepreneurial training for those who are interested. We provide joint venturing / contracting / negotiations training and encourage members to start private businesses whenever possible.
Local Services / Infrastructure
Our goal is to expand and strengthen our local services and infrastructure. We encourage our members to take trades training, as trades provide viable skills that will benefit both the members and the community in the long run. An example of this is our Public Works department, which is used to maintain roads and water / sewage services.
We are developing a long term housing strategy to encourage young families to remain in the community. This is a key priority as it will help grow our population and bring members back who have moved away from Jean Marie River.
Recent permafrost studies that were supported by the community are calling our food security into question. Changing temperatures in recent years have led to thinning ice on our local lakes. This makes it unsafe to travel the lakes in some parts of winter for hunting and ice fishing. This concern is causing the community to expand its food source.
One way to ensure food security is through a community garden / greenhouse where residents could grow and sell produce locally. This could later lead to a Farmer’s market in the summer months. Building a root cellar would be a key component to creating a sustainable community garden operation. Popularity for this type of development is growing in remote communities where there are concerns about access, environmental issues and the desire for increased self-sufficiency. This is not a new concept for members of Jean Marie River. In fact, we have a long history of community gardening and, in days gone by, shared harvests according to family size.
Source: Jean Marie River Community Plan 2013, interviews with members