PRESS RELEASE – INDIGENOUS ECONOMIC LEADERS PROVIDE ECONOMIC RECONCILIATION KNOWLEDGE TO PARLIAMENTARIANS AND SENATORS
June 16, 2023 – Ottawa (ON) – On, Wednesday, June 14th, 2023, the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) brought Parliamentarians and their staff together with leading experts on economic reconciliation and Indigenous prosperity for a successful lunch and learn. The event was hosted on Parliament Hill in partnership with the Senate of Canada and hosted on the unceded and unsurrendered territory of the Algonquin and Anishinaabe People.
“Advancing Economic Reconciliation on Parliament Hill”, was an opportunity to discuss economic reconciliation, what it should look like, and who should be involved. After a beautiful performance from the Spiritwolf Singers and an opening prayer led by Elder Claudette Commanda, opening remarks were made by Victoria LaBillois of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB), Senator Marty Klyne, and NACCA CEO, Shannin Metatawabin.
In his remarks, CEO Shannin Metatawabin highlighted the benefits of investing in Indigenous communities by emphasizing NACCA’s work to recycle an initial federal investment of $240 million into 50,000 loans worth more than $3 billion. Shannin says, “Everyone plays a role in economic reconciliation, and it benefits everyone in the end. With the proper inclusion and consultation, fulsome discussions, and collaboration, we can take the journey of economic reconciliation together toward a better future for all.”
The knowledge sharing was well-received, and a key takeaway was the importance of government collaboration in addressing the remaining barriers to Indigenous economic growth and ongoing supports for what is already working. This includes programs like the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program (AEP) through NACCA and the Indigenous Financial Institution (IFI) network. The event highlighted Indigenous economic success stories, as well as a panel discussion on the importance of economic inclusion and how it plays a role in reconciliation. NACCA extends its sincere appreciation to Victoria LaBillois (Wejuseg Construction), Jean Vincent (NACCA), Jeff Klause (Voyageur Internet), and Udloriak Hanson (Baffinland), Kirt Ejesiak (Arctic UAV Inc), Dawn Madahbee-Leach (Waubetek Business Development Corporation) and Bill Lomax (First Nations Bank of Canada – (FNBC)) for their expertise and insight. Special note of the thanks to FNBC for sponsorship of the event.
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**Photo Credit – Fred Cattroll
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NACCA, the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association, is a network of over 50 Indigenous Financial Institutions (IFIs) dedicated to stimulating economic growth for all Indigenous people in Canada. These efforts increase social and economic self-reliance and sustainability for Indigenous people and communities nationwide.