A mere 4% of Canadian Federal Government spending on Indigenous peoples is directed toward economic development, and procurement – both public and private – from Indigenous companies is not at the levels it should be. Aboriginal businesses and individuals are systematically left behind. But this segment of the Canadian economy offers tremendous opportunity for growth, employment, increased integration, reconciliation and nation building.
This Spotlight focuses on what governments, the private sector and Indigenous communities themselves can do to provide the support and systems necessary to increase economic integration for Aboriginal businesses and individuals, and what Canada as a whole stands to gain from a stronger Aboriginal economy and companies.
Event Alignment: The 4th Annual Aboriginal Economic Development Conference
Presented by The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)
Key Takeaways & Calls to Action:
Key Takeaways & Calls to Action
- The public sector needs to provide the economic tools to support service delivery and increase funding for Indigenous Institutions who are better positioned to provide these services directly to their own people. Corporate Canada can play a large role in economic reconciliation by engaging with Indigenous communities and nations directly, and supporting Indigenous suppliers of goods and services.
- The government needs to start implementing recommendations from the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation report and the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) – “Just take them out, dust them off and start implementing.”
- Working with Indigenous businesses presents key advantages: high quality goods and services at competitive prices, opportunities to drive diversity and corporate social responsibility, openings to other markets, and the removal of some regulatory hurdles.
- Indigenous procurement – from governments, industries, and within the community itself – plays a key role in promoting Indigenous economic development.