The NIEDB Publishes its Annual Report for 2016-2017

Ottawa, Ontario – 13 September 2017 – The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) released its 2016-2017 Annual Report today. The Board achieved a number of important milestones this year which have contributed to ensuring that federal policies and programs are well aligned with the goals of fostering the economic growth of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis people.

Key highlights from the Board’s work in 2016-2017 include:

The NIEDB strongly believes that Indigenous people are making economic and social progress and making important contributions to the Canadian economy. It is essential to maintain this momentum by developing policies and programs that will drive economic development and contribute to closing the gap in economic outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.

The Board’s long-term goal is to ensure that Indigenous people are healthy, well-educated, economically self-sufficient and full participants in the Canadian economy. As the Board gets ready to embark on their next Strategic Plan 2015-2018, their priorities continue to be guided by this overarching goal.

The NIEDB

Established in 1990, the NIEDB is a Governor in Council appointed board mandated to provide strategic policy and program advice to the federal government on Indigenous economic development. Comprised of First Nations, Inuit and Métis community and business leaders from across Canada, the Board plays an important role in helping the federal government develop economic policies and programs that are coordinated, accessible and responsive to the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous Canadians.

Statement on the 10th Anniversary of UNDRIP

Ten years ago the United Nations General Assembly adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The National Indigenous Economic Board congratulates the Government of Canada for now fully supporting the declaration without qualification. The Board acknowledges the recent steps taken by the Government of Canada to implement UNDRIP; however, much work remains to be done to achieve the goals outlined in the declaration.

Implementing UNDRIP will require the collaboration of all parts of Canadian society, and we look forward to participating in the process.


To learn more . . .

 

Recommendations for improving First Nations access to Indian Moneys

In June 2015, the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples recommended that Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada convene a national roundtable with the National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) and other First Nations organizations to explore ways to facilitate First Nations access to Indian moneys. In response to this recommendation the NIEDB held the Roundtable on First Nations Access to Indian Moneys on September 22, 2016 at the Tsuut’ina Nation in Alberta. It was attended by thirty-three First Nations and First Nation Organizations participated as well as 15 government officials.

Our most recent report, Recommendations on First Nations Access to Indian Moneys, summarizes this roundtable discussion and makes recommendations to the Government of Canada on increasing First Nations access to Indian moneys.

What are Indian Moneys?

Indian Moneys are those moneys belonging to First Nations bands or individuals, including capital and revenue moneys, which are held in trust by Canada. Due to the Government of Canada’s fiduciary duty, Indian Moneys must be placed in the Consolidated Revenue Fund (CRF) for the “benefit” of a First Nation. This means that First Nations face challenges in accessing their revenues which other governments and individuals in Canada do not face, including the following:

  • Indian Moneys are kept in the Consolidated Revenue Fund at low rates of interest, resulting in a lower rate of return than could otherwise be obtained.
  • First Nations are sometimes forced to wait for long periods of time to access the capital moneys required to purchase the assets necessary for community well-being and economic progress.
  • First Nations must request and justify the release of their own moneys from the Consolidated Revenue Fund, which has been described by roundtable participants as an affront to the dignity and rights of First Nations.

First Nations face significant barriers to economic development not faced by other levels of government, including access to Indian moneys. Due to years of economically restrictive policies and controlling legislation, First Nations have limited options to access their revenue streams. In particular, the moneys management provisions of the Indian Act are not conducive to taking advantage of opportunities in a timely fashion, or to building a competitive investment environment.

Our Board recognizes that First Nations must have the ability to exercise control and jurisdiction over a broad range of areas, and that First Nations are most successful when they have the statutory authority to make decisions about their own economic development. It is our hope that these recommendations will support approaches that will provide First Nations with greater access to and collection of Indian Moneys.

Executive Summary (2017)

Full Report (2017)

The NIEDB

Established in 1990, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board is a Governor in Council appointed board mandated to provide strategic policy advice to the federal government on issues related to Indigenous economic development. Comprised of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis business and community leaders from across Canada, the Board helps governments to respond to the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

What Additions to Reserve mean for First Nations and for Canada

New report identifies best practices in the Additions to Reserve process

The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) is proud to release our latest publication, Additions to Reserve: Lessons Learned from First Nations. The report profiles the experiences of nine First Nation communities across Canada with the Additions to Reserve Process.

Background

Additions to Reserve (ATRs) are an important part of the federal government’s efforts to address First Nations’ historic and unjust loss of land. ATRs also contribute to economic development for First Nation communities, and represent economic opportunities for nearby non-Indigenous communities.

The Board undertook this study in order to better understand some of the barriers encountered by First Nations when adding land to reserve, and to provide first-hand accounts of experiences in the ATR process. This report builds upon the Board’s previous work, which has identified success factors in ATRs, and profiled the economic and fiscal benefits generated by urban ATRs.

Key findings

What are the challenges? The study uncovered that non-Indigenous residents of nearby municipalities sometimes have difficulty accepting the idea of reserve land being located nearby. Challenges can arise from misconceptions that neighboring non-Indigenous municipalities have about First Nations and about the impact of an ATR on their communities and on their tax base. These challenges can complicate the ATR process and create unnecessary delays for First Nations.

What are the best practices in establishing ATRs and overcoming challenges? This report identifies several best practices for both First Nations and other stakeholders. They can be broken down into two categories: (1) relationship-building and (2) changes in policy and process.

1. Best practices in relationship-building:

  • Leveraging opportunities to build relationships and enhance understanding between First Nations and nearby municipalities.
  • Communicating with non-Indigenous stakeholders about land management and economic development on-reserve to alleviate concerns and address misconceptions.
  • Developing a dispute resolution or negotiation mechanism to deal with concerns raised by municipalities and third parties.
  • Consulting with other Indigenous groups when applicable to address potential impacts on the rights of other communities.
  • Using taxation and fee structures to facilitate positive relationships with local stakeholders and to provide a revenue source for the community.

2. Changes in policy and process to streamline and advance the ATR process:

  • Developing a First Nation-specific additions process that is aligned with the new policy on Additions to Reserve.*
  • Allowing additions to take place despite ongoing negotiations with municipalities.
  • Support businesses operating on reserve.
  • Effectively using the land management policy to support economic development.

Why do these findings matter?

We are at a critical point of renewing our relationships and building trust between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. Additions to Reserve are an essential component of reconciliation and can also stimulate regional economies and contribute to Canada’s prosperity. Creating healthy and sustainable communities in this era of renewed relationships will require meaningful collaboration between all levels of government.

It is our hope that this most recent report from the Board will provide evidence from the field to inform decisions and facilitate greater conversation between all parties.

The NIEDB

Established in 1990, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board is a Governor in Council appointed board mandated to provide strategic policy advice to the federal government on issues related to Indigenous economic development. Comprised of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis business and community leaders from across Canada, the Board helps governments to respond to the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

This report was prepared by Prairie Research Associates.

Full Report (2017)

*Note: The report was completed prior to the finalization of the federal government’s new Additions to Reserve Policy, which streamlines the process for reserve creation and promotes consultation and collaboration with Indigenous peoples.

The NIEDB on the Recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) welcomes the Government of Canada’s commitment to renew the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples and to move forward on a path of reconciliation based on recognition of rights, respect, and partnership by implementing the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

The Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada directly addresses a dark period in Canada’s history and offers a path by which all Canadians can begin the process of healing from the devastating legacy of the residential schools and racial discrimination. Despite the difficult legacy it describes, the TRC report is nonetheless aspirational, stating: “Reconciliation must inspire Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples to transform Canadian society so that our children and grandchildren can live together in dignity, peace, and prosperity on these lands we now share.”

It is this spirit of transformation and aspiration that the NIEDB wishes to foster and build upon by emphasizing the importance of Indigenous economic participation to progress on reconciliation. We have a vision of vibrant Indigenous economies, characterized by economic self-sufficiency and socio-economic equality with the rest of Canada. We want to pursue this vision, through a relationship of mutual respect, by working together with the Government of Canada to enjoy the same social and economic outcomes as the rest of Canada.

Achieving true reconciliation will be the work of generations, but we can begin immediately through actions that will have a benefit for Indigenous communities in the short term. The TRC outlines an approach to economic equality in Recommendation #92. We urge the Government to work with corporate Canada to implement this recommendation, and to facilitate success by removing barriers to Indigenous economic development, ensuring access to capital, and improving Indigenous social outcomes.

Recommendation #92:

We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a reconciliation framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. This would include, but not be limited to, the following:

i. Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects;

ii. Ensure that Indigenous peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Indigenous communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects;

iii. Provide education for management and staff on the history of Indigenous peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Indigenous–Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism.

Specifically, the NIEDB recommends that the Prime Minister of Canada direct his Ministers to develop reconciliation action plans that would create tangible and measureable goals for moving forward on a path of reconciliation within all parts of the federal government; and this progress should be publicly reported annually. Furthermore, the NIEDB is of the view that all levels of government and corporate Canada should demonstrate leadership and recognize their role in reconciliation by adopting reconciliation action plans relevant to their mandates and actively contribute to the reconciliation process that will lead all Canadians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, to a place of national well-being and shared prosperity.

To learn more . . .

Statement from the NIEDB on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) welcomes the Government of Canada’s commitment to renew the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples and to move forward with reconciliation based on recognition of rights, respect, and partnership with Indigenous peoples.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) sets out a standard to be achieved in the spirit of partnership and mutual respect that marks Canada’s stated commitment to reconciliation. The Declaration describes forty-six articles by which the international community, and Canada as a signatory, can work to achieve Indigenous socio-economic equality and end the systemic racism which has limited the development of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples for too long.

Among the articles, and of particular interest to the NIEDB , is Article 3 which states: “Indigenous peoples have the right to self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.” Indigenous self-determination is foundational to the NIEDB vision of vibrant Indigenous economies – which are characterized by economic self-sufficiency and socio-economic equality with the rest of Canada.

To achieve self-determination however, the right conditions for success are essential. Therefore, the NIEDB recommends that the Government of Canada take all necessary steps to ensure that the standards set out in the declaration are met and that it report annually on its progress towards this goal. Specifically Canada should ensure that: (1) Indigenous peoples have equal economic opportunities in community development, in education, in employment, and in access to capital; (2) Indigenous communities have equal access to health care, to clean water, to safe and reliable housing, and to healthy, affordable food; and (3) it work in mutual partnership with Indigenous peoples to develop legislative and policy alternatives to the Indian Act that would give further expression to the governance powers of Indigenous peoples and how they coexist with the powers of the federal, provincial and territorial governments.

Reconciliation aspires to a vision of Canada wherein all Canadians live together in dignity, peace, and prosperity. To achieve this vision, the Government of Canada must take bold, immediate action and make meaningful investments to end the economic marginalization of Indigenous peoples. Each Indigenous community and each nation is different, characterized by unique challenges, priorities, and expectations. In order to make real progress toward Indigenous self-determination, the Government must work with each community and nation individually.

We believe that by taking actions that are meaningful, measurable, and concrete, Canada can demonstrate its commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and improve economic outcomes for all Canadians.

To learn more . . .

Without equal economic opportunities, there can be no reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians

National Indigenous Economic Development Board shows that improving education, training and employment outcomes would generate billions of dollars in return

Ottawa, ON – Closing the significant opportunity gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians will annually boost Canada’s GDP by $27.7 billion or 1.5% is the main conclusion of a report released today by the National Indigenous Economic Development Board.

The report, Reconciliation: Growing Canada’s Economy by $27.7 Billion, demonstrates in hard numbers how keeping Indigenous Canadians out of the economy by under-investing in education, infrastructure and other services, has hit Canada’s bottom line. The report estimates that Canada’s GDP would grow by 1.5% or $27.7 billion per year if barriers preventing Indigenous Canadians from participating in the Canadian economy were removed.

“Investing in Indigenous peoples is an investment in Canada’s future prosperity,” said Dawn Madahbee Leach, Interim Chairperson of the Board and General Manager of the Waubetek Business Development Corporation. “Full reconciliation with Indigenous peoples will not happen without economic reconciliation. It is not only the fair and right thing to do, but there is a strong and compelling business case for all Canadians.”

Previous work by the National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) has highlighted the significant gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians in terms of their high school completion, university completion, labour force participation, employment and average annual income. The NIEDB’s Aboriginal Economic Progress Report (2015) discusses how some of these gaps have widened over time.

“Providing equal economic opportunity for Indigenous peoples will help Canada address the ongoing economic challenges caused by low productivity and demographic change from an aging population,” said Chief Terrance Paul, Board member and Chief of Membertou First Nation. “This includes equal access to education and training, and economic opportunities more broadly – from access to new jobs and equal employment conditions to resources for starting a new business.”

In its Reconciliation report, the NIEDB estimates that closing the productivity gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians would lead to an increase of $27.7 billion to Canada’s GDP each year. This figure is the sum of the estimated increases in employment income earned by Indigenous peoples across all provinces and territories. Additionally, there is an estimated $8 billion “opportunity dividend” to gain each year from reduced poverty and lower healthcare, social and other associated costs.

In other words:

  • If Indigenous peoples had the same education and training as non-Indigenous peoples, the resulting increase in productivity would mean an additional $8.5 billion in income earned annually by the Indigenous population.
  • If Indigenous peoples were given the same access to economic opportunities available to other Canadians, the resulting increase in employment would result in an additional $6.9 billion per year in employment income and approximately 135,000 newly employed Indigenous people.
  • If the poverty rates among Indigenous Peoples were reduced, the fiscal costs associated with supporting people living in poverty, would decline by an estimated $8.4 billion annually.
  • Overall, if the gap in opportunities for Indigenous communities across Canada were closed, it would result in an increase in GDP of $27.7 billion annually or a boost of about 1.5% to Canada’s economy.

Current federal government commitments

As of last year, the Government of Canada has been pursuing an ambitious reconciliation program for Indigenous Peoples, which includes the $8.4 billion earmarked in the most recent federal budget to improve the socio-economic conditions of Indigenous peoples and their communities.

The NIEDB sees this as an important first step on the road to reconciliation, but emphasizes that there is much work to be done.

“The Government of Canada has taken positive first steps, significant investments will be like a ‘down payment’ on future economic growth. But reconciliation needs to remain a long-term priority. Reconciliation will take a generation of sustained effort, and full reconciliation with Indigenous Canadians cannot occur without economic reconciliation,” added Madahbee Leach.

“Canadian governments at all levels have a stake in closing these gaps and have a role to play,” said Chief Terrance Paul.

 

The NIEDB

Established in 1990, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board is a Governor in Council appointed board mandated to provide strategic policy advice to the federal government on issues related to Indigenous economic development. Comprised of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis business and community leaders from across Canada, the Board helps governments to respond to the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

The report Reconciliation: Moving Canada Forward by $27.7 Billion was prepared for the NIEDB by Fiscal Realities Economists. Fiscal Realities has prepared a second follow-up report, entitled Investing in Canada’s Future Prosperity: An Opportunity for Canadian Industries, which can be downloaded below. This report profiles the gap in labour force and employment opportunities by sector across Canada.

Full Report (2016)

Infographic (2016)

Full Report – Part 2 (2017)

Infographic – Part 2 (2017)

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact:

David Rodier
Hill+Knowlton Strategies
613-786-9945
david.rodier@hkstrategies.ca

National Reconciliation: The $27.7 Billion Argument for Ending Economic Marginalization

Op-Ed by Dawn Madahbee Leach and Chief Terrance Paul

On December 14, 2015, on the occasion of the release of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, made the following statement: “…we will, in partnership with Indigenous communities, the provinces, territories, and other vital partners, fully implement the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.”

At the time, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board applauded the Prime Minister’s statement, and today we acknowledge his on-going commitment to moving forward on a path of reconciliation based on recognition of rights, respect, and partnership.

And it is a path that all Canadians – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous – must walk together.

For Indigenous peoples, national reconciliation is critical to addressing the wrongs of the past, improving the socio-economic outcomes of today, and restoring the self-sufficiency and independence of our communities and governments.

The National Indigenous Economic Development Board also believes that national reconciliation is not possible if Indigenous peoples continue to be excluded from sharing in Canada’s prosperity: an objective that will not only improve the socio-economic outcomes of Indigenous peoples but, according to our analysis, will provide significant benefit for all Canadians.

Today, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board released a comprehensive report, Reconciliation: Growing Canada’s Economy by $27.7 Billion, that demonstrates the potential economic benefit of reconciliation – both in terms of what is being lost to Canada and the value of what can be gained by all Canadians.

Reconciliation Growing Canada’s Economy by $27.7 Billion

Our report concludes that the continued economic marginalization of Canada’s Indigenous peoples is costing our economy $27.7 billion each year. In other words, action to achieve economic reconciliation – equal access to financial services, capital and other business supports, adequate community infrastructure and housing, and connectivity for Indigenous communities, as well as equal access to quality education and training – can increase Canada’s Gross Domestic Product by 1.5%. This is greater than the Government’s own estimates on the impact of its infrastructure investments.

Considering the condition of the global economy and a looming demographic challenge, a growing Indigenous economy and an increase in labour force participation among Indigenous peoples could represent a much needed shot in the arm for a low-growth Canadian economy. Canada’s aging population means more workers are leaving the workforce now than are entering it. In contrast to the rest of Canada, the Indigenous population is young and growing fast. With almost half of Indigenous peoples under the age of 25, this young generation is critical to Canada’s future.

The federal government has made important investments, including $8.4 billion earmarked in its most recent budget to improve the socio-economic conditions of Indigenous peoples and their communities. We acknowledge the importance of these investments. However, the chronic and systemic underinvestment in Indigenous communities over the last decades is evident in the deplorable conditions many of our communities must endure: conditions that would be unacceptable to other Canadians.

Raising the socio-economic conditions of Indigenous peoples should be a matter of social justice and equality, and a nation as fortunate as Canada should not need a business case to address decades of historical wrongs. But Canadians must walk the path to reconciliation together – and our numbers show that there is nothing to fear and much to gain.

Reconciliation: Growing Canada’s Economy by $27.7 Billion – Some facts:

  • If Indigenous peoples had the same education and training as non-Indigenous peoples, the resulting increase in productivity would mean an additional $8.5 billion in income earned annually by the Indigenous population.
  • If Indigenous peoples were given the same access to economic opportunities available to other Canadians, the ensuing increase in employment would result in an additional $6.9 billion per year in employment income and approximately 135,000 newly employed Indigenous peoples.
  • If the poverty rates among Indigenous Canadians were reduced, the fiscal costs associated with supporting people living in poverty, would decline by an estimated $8.4 billion annually.
  • Overall, if the gap in opportunities for Indigenous communities across Canada was closed, it would result in an increase in GDP of $27.7 billion annually or a boost of about 1.5% to Canada’s economy.

The National Indigenous Economic Development Board is a Governor in Council appointed board mandated to provide strategic policy advice to the federal government on issues related to Indigenous economic development.

Dawn Madahbee Leach and Chief Terrance Paul

Full Report (2016)

Infographic (2016)

The NIEDB Identifies Economic Development as a Foundational Element to Achieve Reconciliation in their 2016-2019 Strategic Plan

Ottawa, ON – During their last quarterly meeting held in February, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) formally adopted their 2016-2019 Strategic Plan setting out a broad forward agenda for their work.

Through advice and recommendations to the Government of Canada, the Board’s work will aim to engage urban, rural and remote Indigenous communities alike in developing policy recommendations that respond to the circumstances of the wide variety of Indigenous communities across Canada – a one-size fits all approach will not work as Indigenous peoples move forward. With a renewed nation-to-nation relationship with the federal government, one that starts with the recognition of Aboriginal and Treaty rights, the Board will work to measure the changing economic landscape for Indigenous peoples and to track progress and indicate key areas for improvement and focus.

The Board’s vision is a vibrant Indigenous economy, where Indigenous peoples are economically self-sufficient and have achieved economic parity with Canadian society. The Board is fully committed to this objective and calls on all Canadians to work with Indigenous peoples to make Indigenous economic success a reality.

“It is in the interest of all Canadians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, to ensure that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis are full participants in the economy and are able to make meaningful contributions to Canada’s economic prosperity” – said Chief Clarence Louie, Chair of the NIEDB .

The 2016-2019 Strategic Plan focuses on five key priorities over the next three years:

  • Enhancing Indigenous Community Readiness for Economic Opportunities
  • Access to Capital: Building Stable Revenues
  • Building the Economic Potential of Our Lands and Minimizing Environmental Impacts
  • Supporting Indigenous Businesses
  • Promoting the Importance of Indigenous Economic Development

“There are still significant barriers to Indigenous economic development that must be addressed. First Nations, Inuit, and Métis will achieve comparable outcomes in education and income and have access to jobs and skills training on the same level enjoyed by other Canadians when these barriers are removed.” – Chief Clarence Louie, Chair of the NIEDB .

 

The NIEDB

Established in 1990, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board is a Governor in Council appointed board mandated to provide strategic policy advice to the federal government on issues related to Indigenous economic development. Comprised of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis business and community leaders from across Canada, the Board helps governments to respond to the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous people in Canada.

The NIEDB Calls for Increased Investment in Indigenous Economic Development

Ottawa, ON – The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) is calling for increased investment in Indigenous economic development and highlighted this during a meeting with federal Ministers Bennett, Wilson-Raybould, and Tootoo. The Board’s work and research has shown that investment in Indigenous peoples and communities results in real contributions to the national GDP and improved regional economies throughout Canada.

The Board made a number of recommendations to assist the Government of Canada in meeting its objectives to achieve better outcomes for Indigenous economic development as set by Prime Minister Trudeau in the mandates given to his Ministers.

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The Government of Canada has made the relationship with Indigenous peoples a top priority and the Board believes that this should be adequately reflected in the budget. These recommendations include:

  • Renewing the fiscal relationship with Indigenous peoples based on the premise that Indigenous governments are equal to other levels of government.
  • A threefold increase in federal spending on Indigenous economic development from approximately $278 million to approximately $834 million recognizing the fact that these investments add value to the Canadian economy overall.
  • Increasing funding to Aboriginal Financial Institutions by $100 million dollars to continue to build Indigenous businesses to address jobs and economic growth.
  • Investing additional funding of $150 million for the First Nations Fiscal Management Act regime and its institutions in their work to strengthen fiscal capacity.
  • Establishing a North-specific infrastructure investment fund that will help open northern communities for development that they wish to pursue.
  • Providing the necessary support to address the 2011 National Assessment of First Nations Water and Wastewater Systems that estimates that $4.7 billion worth of investments are needed over the next ten years to meet current standards and anticipated population growth. No community in Canada should be without clean drinking water.

The Board believes that economic development is a foundational element in achieving reconciliation. Progress in economic, business, and community development can be achieved when supported by strong Indigenous led governance structures, sufficient and appropriately targeted financial investments, and innovative policy development in partnership with Indigenous communities.

It is in the interest of all Canadians, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, to ensure that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis are full participants in the economy and are able to make meaningful contributions to Canada’s economic prosperity.

The amount of money currently dedicated to Indigenous economic development is inadequate. Our Board has long advocated that funding for economic development should comprise not less than 10% of total spending on Indigenous peoples” – said Chief Clarence Louie, Chair of the NIEDB .

Last week’s meeting represents a historic juncture for a promising partnership committed to bringing transformational change to the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples, to address historic wrongs and to make real and lasting improvements to the socio-economic conditions of Indigenous peoples.

 

The NIEDB

Established in 1990, the National Indigenous Economic Development Board is a Governor in Council appointed board mandated to provide strategic policy advice to the federal government on issues related to Indigenous economic development. Comprised of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis business and community leaders from across Canada, the Board helps governments to respond to the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous peoples in Canada.