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Howard Hughes – How does native funding work

Howard Hughes – How does native funding work

Howard Robard Hughes, Jr., December 24, 1905, in Houston

Hughes attended private school in Boston, where he was better at golf than classwork. He was attending Thacher School in California when his mother died. In California, Hughes spent time with his uncle, Rupert, who inspired his later interest in filmmaking. Hughes never graduated from high school. Nonetheless, his father arranged for him to sit in on classes at Cal Tech by donating money to the school. Afterward, Howard returned to Houston and enrolled at Rice Institute (now Rice University). Howard, Sr. died suddenly a few weeks after his son turned eighteen. Young Howard inherited much of the family estate and dropped out of Rice.

Military-Industrial Complex: Throughout the 1950s, as the power of three entities grew — the Hughes empire, organized crime, and the new Central Intelligence Agency — it became all but impossible to distinguish between them. By the end of the decade, Hughes’ chief of staff, Robert Maheu, had orchestrated the CIA’s dirtiest secret — plots to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro with the help of two heads of organized crime. Vice President Richard Nixon was the White House action officer in the clandestine attempts to oust Castro. Zapata Off-Shore, the oil company owned by future CIA director and U.S. president George Bush after he split it off from Zapata Oil partner Hugh Liedtke in 1954, had a drilling rig on the Cay Sal Bank in 1958. These islands had been leased to Nixon supporter and CIA contractor Howard Hughes the previous year and were later used as a base for CIA raids on Cuba. Nixon lost the 1960 presidential election to John F. Kennedy largely because of a scandal over a never repaid $205,000 “loan” Nixon’s brother received from Hughes. As attorney general, Robert Kennedy secretly investigated the Hughes-Nixon dealings.

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How does native funding work

The biggest revenue source is transfers from the federal government, but First Nations are increasingly generating what’s called “own-source revenue.”

The communities also get revenue from land claims settlements and successful lawsuits, selling treaty land and a small amount from other levels of government.

For the 50,000 Inuit in the Canadian north, federal funding is mostly determined by the four comprehensive land claims agreements, that, combined, cover 40 per cent of the country’s land mass. Programs and services generally have been provided through territorial or provincial governments.

Now that they are able to do so, many First Nations are generating revenue, from a wide variety of sources. Here are some examples:

Squamish First Nation in North Vancouver and Westbank First Nation in Kelowna, B.C., have developed major shopping centres.
Osoyoos First Nation in B.C. has a winery, NK’Mip Cellars.


  • Vuntut Gwitchin First Nation in the Yukon owns the Vuntut Development Corp., which co-owns Air North airline and other interests.
  • Tlicho First Nations north of Yellowknife provides support services to the diamond mining industry, and also receives royalties from the mining companies.
  • Whitecap Dakota First Nation in Saskatchewan has the Dakota Dunes Casino and the Chippewas of Rama First Nation in Ontario have Casino Rama. There are at least 15 other First Nation-owned casinos in Canada.
  • Lac La Ronge First Nation’s Northern Lights Foods sells wild rice and mushrooms internationally.
  • Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario receives funds, as well as training and jobs, from De Beers’ diamond mine on their traditional land, the result of an impact benefit agreement the two sides reached in 2005.
  • Waswanipi Cree First Nation in Quebec has a silvaculture and timber harvest joint venture with Domtar.
  • Membertou First Nation in Nova Scotia has a hotel and convention centre.


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