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National Indigenous economic strategy to be released

Lending agencies call for greater access to capital, improvements to community infrastructure
Sugar Zone gathering
Leadership of Netmizaaggamig Nishnaabeg and White Lake LP at the Harte Gold mine site in 2018. (White Lake LP Facebook photo)

The Globe and Mail newspaper is reporting five Indigenous organizations are releasing a national economic development strategy today.

The group, which includes the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, told the newspaper the strategy is a means to reduce poverty for Indigenous people, bolster the Canadian economy, and build on the 107 recommendations set forth in the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Described as “calls for economic prosperity,” the strategy aims to close the socioeconomic gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

“Very exciting day in history, said Shannin Metatawbin, CEO of the National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association, on the LinkedIn online professional network platform, of this first-ever national strategy.

“The 107 calls to prosperity is a beginning to recommending ways to include Indigenous people into the prosperity of Canada.”

Dawn Madahbee Leach, chair of National Indigenous Economic Development Board, is said by the newspaper to have helped the draft the strategy. She is also president of the Waubetek Business Development Corp. of Birch Island on the north shore of Lake Huron.

Among the items mentioned in the strategy include giving Aboriginal funding organizations greater access to capital to participate in resource projects and boosting funding to these lending organizations to meet the demand for loans. 

The groups are also calling for improvements to infrastructure on First Nations, such as with local drinking water system, and changes to federal funding formula to better enable First Nations to borrow against those funds.