A Nova Scotia native community is joining with a national accounting firm to offer much-needed financial management to other First Nations. The Mi’kmaq community of Membertou is on Cape Breton island and numbers 1000 people.

Their business alliance with Grant Thornton LLP took Membertou from a deficit of over $1 million in the mid 1990’s to a balanced budget today of $44.5 million. They feel their efforts are a model for Native self-management, focusing on building internal financial capacity.

Grant Thornton LLP is a national firm of chartered accountants and management consultants with 100 offices across Canada and annual revenues of over $300-million in 2002. Membertou is the first Aboriginal band to become ISO 9001:2000 compliant.