Indigenous Working Group Launches a National Indigenous Economic Strategy for Canada

The National Indigenous Economic Development Board celebrates the official launch of the National Indigenous Economic Strategy for Canada.

In collaboration with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA), Indigenous Works, and the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (Cando), the National Indigenous Economic Strategy is a 10-year Indigenous-led strategy intended to guide all levels of government, Indigenous entities and communities, small and medium-sized enterprises, and non-Indigenous organizations and institutions.

Economic strategy is an immensely important piece of our growth as Indigenous communities in Canada. I am continuously inspired by the robust projects and offerings from our people from coast to coast to coast.

Creating pathways forward in business ensures transformational opportunities for the next generation and the seven generations to come. Our unique advantage as Indigenous developers and entrepreneurs is our connection to tradition; we’re guided by our core principles and infuse our culture into everything we touch. For too long, that’s been viewed as a drawback. Today, we proudly lead with our cultural values, and we’re stronger because of them.

Working together to share this Economic Strategy bolsters our ability to grow and succeed. It is a road map to our next steps, which will lead to what is meant for us. May this strategy be used and built upon for future opportunities for all.

Chief Terry Paul. Membertou Chief & CEO

Ex-Officio Member of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board

The National Indigenous Economic Strategy is built upon four Strategic Pathways (People, Land, Infrastructure and Finance), and includes specific “Calls to Economic Prosperity” that can be supported by all Canadians, governments, businesses, and institutions to realize economic parity for all Indigenous peoples.

The Strategy will also provide Indigenous economic development practitioners and policy makers with a coherent vision designed to guide efforts in the coming decade.

The National Indigenous Economic Strategy is about people, land, infrastructure, and finance. My people came from the land. My dad was a prime example of grassroots economic development, as he was a guide that led a dog team travelling across the land with doctors and missionaries to take care of the people of this great land. Our small business in Labrador fabricates storage containment tanks for communities all across Labrador to provide diesel generation power to their people, which had a direct impact on infrastructure. Finances were always hard to come by at that time, but we did it, but not without a fight. You practically had to sign your life and the lives of your grandchildren away to access capital, or at least it felt like it. Being an independent Indigenous woman in a nontraditional trade was certainly an impediment, not an advantage. Watching the growth of our revenues over the past four years from $4 million to $25 million is a testament to what small Indigenous businesses are capable of accomplishing.

I am extremely impressed that this National Indigenous Economic Strategy has come to fruition. The time is indeed NOW to implement these much-needed changes. I offer my sincere congratulations to the entire group on this amazing achievement.

Hilda Broomfield-Letemplier, President, Pressure Pipe Procurement & Management Services

Member of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board

The National Board is hopeful the “Calls to Economic Prosperity” in this strategy will be adopted by all levels of government in Canada along with corporate Canada, all economic institutions, and the Canadian public to serve as a guide and best practice globally for supporting Indigenous economic inclusion.

Read the full strategy here