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