This is the first certificate that the Financial Management Board has issued for Financial Management System, so congratulations.
Membertou's Financial Management Certification is an historical milestone but has the table being set for history to repeat itself.
Membertou Chief Terrance Paul believes it's inevitable.
I know there's others that will be coming. Chief Paul gives much credit to the Financial Management Board in what he calls a very rigorous process.
He counsels others to be undaunted to that rigor and the challenges ahead, very much worth it.
As you know when you think back with some of the staff that were kicking and screaming to be you know, not to be part of the process and you know we were steadfast and we were determined that we want to make sure that everybody's on the side.
Easy to see why for a community which has flourished as a result of business development and infrastructure which has in turn nurtured both community and entrepreneurial spirit.
We're open for business and we're prepared to make a deal with you. That's my message to the world.
No it's not going to be the last and I'm very encouraged.
Membertou's success is validation for the whole concept.
Still, inertia remains a key concern.
The Financial Management Board believes moving beyond the status quo is essential.
I think it's a very fundamental and courageous step that has to be taken.
It has been an educational journey for Membertou as well as the Board.
Lessons have been learned, requirements have been streamlined, and internal processes improved all without diminishing the certification's integrity.
Many first nations across the country will benefit from that learning experience because we appreciate that this cannot become an overwhelming exercise for First Nation communities.
The FMB says the greatest thing is Membertou's willingness to share its experience, to answer questions about the road ahead.
We are very open to working with any community that wants to get advice from us and help them prepare to get to the point where they too are certified.
The dividends are evident, the results clear, access to capital markets, business development, debt servicing, the economic empowerment of certification is also linked to the challenges of negotiating equity stakes in resource development projects environmental reviews, and of implementing land title rights.
The bigger picture the bigger payoff strong healthy vibrant communities.
You know one of the greatest ways that we can preserve our culture, traditions and languages is if we continue to exist as communities.
Membertou is a model, a beacon and an example of a tremendous success story.
A story of engagement partnership collaboration autonomy and good governance.
When the tide rises, everybody should rise.
You know, and it certainly applies in this case, you know it shows visibly, you know, with the people with the children with the level of economic activity that's going on.
It excites people here and they're very proud to be a member of Membertou.
And as we say to the First Nation communities if you're not on the table you better be worried that you're not on the menu.
If you think of something that's a going to be good for people, try just don't think about it. do it, and try it.
Since you never know if you don't try it won't happen and for sure don't give up.