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September 21, 2017

Economic self-determination through lending: empowering Indigenous Peoples, implementing UNDRIP

Shannin Metatawabin
Indigenous issues
The Hill Times - September 18, 2017

In the 1980s, the federal government and Indigenous leaders were on the right track. Prior to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and even prior to the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, it was known that the Indigenous economy needed attention. This resulted in the creation of a network of Indigenous business development financial institutions. With an initial federal investment of $240-million, these institutions have since provided more than 42,000 loans totalling $2.3-billion to Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs.

The businesses these loans made possible are diverse. One factor unites them: all are led by Indigenous individuals or communities taking their economic futures into their own hands. In very concrete, everyday ways, these businesses help realize the right to economic self-determination guaranteed in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

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May 25, 2017

Changes Ahead in 2017

For the last several years, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce has published an annual list of the Top 10 Barriers to Canadian Competitiveness. That document listed some of the self-inflicted wounds that have prevented Canada's economy from achieving its full potential and set out their recommendations for change.

This year, they released a different document. Instead of focusing on barriers, they outlined 10 ways to improve our economic success, along with specific recommendations to advocate throughout the year.

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March 7, 2017

Report Shows Aboriginal Entrepreneurs Face Significant Barriers in Financial Ecosystem

Ottawa, March 7, 2017 - The National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) commissioned a study of the financial ecosystem that provides support for Aboriginal entrepreneurship in Canada. NACCA and its member Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) provide financing and support to Aboriginal entrepreneurs. The number of AFIs across Canada has grown to over 50 and include Aboriginal Capital Corporations, Aboriginal Developmental Lenders and Aboriginal Community Futures Development Corporations. In addition to BDC’s mainstream financial services and advice, BDC’s Aboriginal Banking Unit offers two specialized streams of financing for Aboriginal entrepreneurs including the “Aboriginal Business Development Fund,” and “Growth Capital for Aboriginal Business.” Continue reading

February 15, 2017

Expanding the Circle: What Reconciliation and Inclusive Economic Growth Can Mean for First Nations and Canada

Economic reconciliation is not only the fair and right thing to do, but there’s a strong business case for it as well. Canada’s economy would grow by $27.7 billion annually if barriers preventing Indigenous Canadians from participating in the Canadian economy were removed, according to a recent report by the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board.

The Public Policy Forum, held February 15, 2017 at the Westin in Ottawa, partnered with the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board, the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada to deliver the first in a three-part series of conferences on reconciliation and inclusive economic growth. Continue reading

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