For the Hunter-Courchene, community development empowers communities by providing individuals and groups of people with the tools they need to effect positive change. It is our belief that sustainable and significant community development takes place only when local community people are committed to investing themselves and their resources into the effort. Our process emphasizes cultural appropriate community mobilization through the identification of internal assets, capacities and skills. Our understanding of, and experience working within First Nation communities allows us to create the trust required to effectively and empower communities to eventually mobilize themselves.
Mathieu Courchene has trained facilitators and visited First Nations communities in both Ontario and Quebec to assist and coach individuals and groups in the identification and implementation of their community development paths. Communities are empowered and provided the tools to articulate their vision, define their goals and set out a path forward that is specific to their realities, attainable by those who participate and achieved without external assistance. Mathieu is a member of the Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. He is a graduate of Carleton University, and provides community development services in either official language.