Call to Action # 92

We call upon the corporate sector in Canada to adopt the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a reconciliation framework and to apply its principles, norms, and standards to corporate policy and core operational activities involving Indigenous peoples and their lands and resources. This would include, but not be limited to, the following:

  1. Commit to meaningful consultation, building respectful relationships, and obtaining the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples before proceeding with economic development projects. 
  2. Ensure that Aboriginal peoples have equitable access to jobs, training, and education opportunities in the corporate sector, and that Aboriginal communities gain long-term sustainable benefits from economic development projects.
  3. Provide education for management and staff on the history of Aboriginal peoples, including the history and legacy of residential schools, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Treaties and Aboriginal rights, Indigenous law, and Aboriginal–Crown relations. This will require skills-based training in intercultural competency, conflict resolution, human rights, and anti-racism. 

Indigenous Watchdog Status Update

Current StatusSept. 5, 2021STALLED
Previous StatusJune 14, 2021STALLED

Why”Stalled”?

Business Council of Canada, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Conference Board of Canada, Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) and numerous business associations have all made recommendations or commitments aligned with C2A 92. Very little follow-up activity though especially in response to the number of Indigenous protests across the country in relation to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, Duty to Consult, environmental impacts etc.

85 percent of Canadian businesses are in no way engaged with Indigenous communities.” A new report commissioned by Indigenous Works and prepared by R.A. Malatest & Associates Ltd.

Business Advocacy Groups

The Business Council of Canada

Founded in 1976, the Business Council is an organization composed of the chief executives of Canada’s leading enterprises, representing companies from every region and sector of the economy. The 150-member companies employ 1.7 million Canadians, account for more than half the value of the Toronto Stock Exchange, contribute the largest share of federal corporate taxes, and are responsible for most of Canada’s exports, corporate philanthropy, and private-sector investments in research and development.

Business Council of Canada 2016-2017 Annual Report

“supports a credible, transparent and efficient review process to ensure that major energy and resource projects do not threaten human health, nearby communities or the rights of Indigenous peoples.

August 28, 2017 – Environmental and Regulatory Reviews

Letter from John P. Manly, President and Chief Executive Officer:

In terms of the key principles outlined in the discussion paper:

  • We support meaningful public involvement in the assessment process, including ensuring that those directly affected have an adequate voice. However, a balance must be sought to ensure the entire process does not become unwieldly and prone to unacceptable delay.
  • We support meaningful and timely engagement of Indigenous peoples in projects and decisions that directly affect their interests.
  • We support evidence-based decision-making reflecting sound science and incorporating relevant Indigenous knowledge.
  • One project – one assessment must continue to be a guiding principle, both as to how they are handled among multiple department/agencies within the federal government, and also with respect to overlapping provincial/territorial jurisdiction.

Impacts on Indigenous Peoples
We support the recommendation that legislation be amended to explicitly require assessment of any significant impacts on Indigenous peoples. Proponents of major resource projects, including many Business Council members, are keenly aware of the obligation to understand and be sensitive to the needs and expectations of Indigenous communities. Much progress has been made in recent years and companies are adopting strategies aimed at early engagement with local Indigenous communities and more active involvement throughout the life cycle of a project, through planning, design, construction and ongoing operation. Yet there are almost always questions that are vital to the interests of these communities that only governments can answer. Much more needs to be done to both reflect the principle of genuine consultation and to develop the capacity of Indigenous communities to participate actively and effectively in the regulatory process. Business is more than willing to do its part, but the fundamental responsibility is one that only governments, federal and provincial, can discharge. We are prepared to support the idea raised in the discussion paper, that a single government agency with increased capacity be given responsibility to coordinate consultation and accommodation.

The Supreme Court of Canada has recently provided further guidance on the scope of Indigenous consultation and accommodation. These cases again illustrate the importance of early engagement, that due consideration be given to the rights granted by treaties and that the degree of consultation and accommodation is related to the significance of the impact on recognized rights. They also underscore the proposition that while the proponent and the government must always consider ways to minimize the impact to the largest extent possible, the decision in the end is one governed by the overall public interest.

National Energy Board governance
We agree with the proposal to separate the roles of Chair and CEO, as well as the creation of an executive board to provide strategic direction to the NEB. We also see the value in creating separate hearing commissioners to participate in project reviews and in broadening the array of skills and expertise among these commissioners, including more Indigenous representation. Maintaining the National Energy Board in Calgary makes sense, as does the proposal to eliminate the residency requirement for Board members and hearing commissioners. And we see merit in investigating more streamlined dispute settlement procedures as an alternative to some formal adjudicative procedures.

10 Ways to Build a Canada That Wins Released

Feb. 5, 2018 – “10 Ways to Build a Canada That Wins” that provides businesses, decision-makers and government with a series of clear priorities and objectives that, if addressed, will give Canada a competitive edge, improve productivity and grow our economy.

Number # 8 statesProvide Opportunities for Business Development to Support Self-determination for Indigenous Peoples.”

Entrepreneurship plays a key role in the economic, social, and institutional development of Indigenous communities. So too does their ability to benefit from environmentally sustainable industry, infrastructure and resource development projects on and near their lands. The economic and social benefits of encouraging greater and more inclusive participation by Indigenous peoples in employment and business development opportunities are shared by all Canadians. Canada’s future will be shaped by the more active economic participation of Indigenous peoples. We need to afford ample opportunities to entrepreneurs who are ready to do business to create wealth for their communities and families. Our challenge is to move from good intentions to initiatives that make a real difference in their economic prospects. New approaches need to be developed, and new tools must be made available to do so. This includes:

  • a supportive tax and regulatory environment
  • access to new business opportunities
  • government programs that provide meaningful supports, and
  • ready-access to education and training, leading to employment, apprenticeship and mentorship programs
The Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Network of over 450+ Chambers of Commerce and Boards of Trade representing 200,000 businesses of all sizes across all sectors of the Canadian economy

Seizing Six Opportunities for More Clarity in the Duty to Consult and Accommodate Process

Recommendations

Opportunity 1: A Consistent Framework for the Duty to Consult and Accommodate

That the federal government:

More actively communicate the services available to assist proponents in obtaining background information on Indigenous peoples, their historical and current relationships with the Crown, their rights and relevant contact information.

Work with businesses, Indigenous peoples and other levels of government to develop a consistent duty to consult and accommodate framework that recognizes the different approaches to engagement, consultation, accommodation each community and project requires and clearly defines:

  • The aspect of the project that triggers the duty to consult and accommodate.
  • If the Crown will delegate all or some aspects of the consultation/accommodation, which ones and when.
  • The Indigenous peoples affected and their rights (established and/or potential).
  • The level of consultation required and how it should be undertaken.
  • What information the Crown will provide to businesses and Indigenous communities.
  • What resources/capacity are required by the Indigenous communities and who is responsible for providing them and bearing any costs involved.
  • The Crown’s involvement, including:
    • Primary contact person/resource
    • Whether it will facilitate pre-consultation engagement between the proponent(s) and the affected Indigenous communities.
    • Whether it will provide advice or direction only.
    • Whether it will be “on the ground” in the Indigenous community with the proponent, on its own or not at all.
  • Expectations of the affected Indigenous community(ies).
  • Timelines (for proponents, Indigenous communities, and the Crown).
  • How the Crown will monitor the consultation and accommodation negotiations between proponents and Indigenous communities to measure whether each met the expectations of them and met their commitments.

Opportunity 2: Remembering that Engagement with Indigenous Peoples Is Often More Effective than Consultation

The federal government needs to bring Indigenous and business representatives together to develop a robust framework for engagement that emphasizes building relationships as a first step, whenever feasible, before consultation and accommodation discussions focused on particular projects begin as well as what each party will be accountable for. The resulting framework must be accompanied by resources to assist the Crown, business and Indigenous communities in ensuring that engagement:

  • Respects the nation-to-nation relationship.
  • Reflects the rights and circumstances of Indigenous communities.
  • Provides businesses with the ground rules they need to avoid derailing potential projects due to missteps.

Opportunity 3: Demonstrating the Crown Has “Skin in the Game”

That the federal government establish a Commissioner of Indigenous Consultation and Accommodation within the Office of the Auditor General with the mandate of providing semi-annual whole-of-government reports on the federal Crown’s performance of its constitutional duties. In addition to assessing the Crown’s risk management, the Commissioner’s reports should include the number of consultations undertaken in the period reviewed, those that were conducted by the Crown, completely and/or partially delegated as well as their outcomes/status.

Opportunity 4: The Federal Government’s Commitment to a New, Respectful Relationship with Indigenous Peoples

The federal government:

  • By mid-2017, should establish the framework and timelines for the review of laws, policies and operational practices related to its implementation of the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the UNDRIP in its entirety. This review needs seek the perspectives of a broad range of stake/rights holders, including businesses and Indigenous communities, and address the tools to be available to each to fulfill additional obligations required of them.
  • Communicate, annually, its progress in addressing fundamental quality of life issues for Indigenous peoples including clean drinking water, housing, education and healthcare

Opportunity 5; Building Capacity for Indigenous Communities

That the federal government be more ambitious in its definitions of Indigenous capacity building including such options as:

  1. Tools to help Indigenous communities develop their own consultation guidelines for proponents based on their histories, rights and lands.
  2. Organizing, in cooperation with other levels of government, regional conferences, workshops, etc. for Indigenous communities to share their expertise, best practices, etc.
  3. Seeking the views of business and Indigenous representatives on a proponent-financed, arm’s-length fund that would be available for Indigenous communities to hire the capacity they do not have, what it could/could not be used for, etc.
  4. Working with the provinces/territories to develop a list of suggested legal, environmental and other advisers to whom Indigenous representatives could turn for assistance if needed.
  5. Assisting Indigenous communities to establish access to capital, for example, business loan guarantees and credit rating assistance.
  6. Helping Indigenous communities document their resources (natural, human, financial, etc).

Opportunity 6: Businesses Looking at Consultation and Accommodation as an Investment, Not an Expense

Conference Board of Canada

We are Canada’s largest non-partisan, not-for-profit, evidence-based research organization. Our work empowers Canadians and key decision- makers with insights and knowledge in three main areas: Economic Forecasting, Industry Strategy and Public Policy, and Organizational Performance. We bring together ideas across research disciplines and people across sectors of our society in order to address the complex issues that matter most to Canada’s future.

Canada’s Indigenous communities are closely linked to the country’s natural resources sector. Today, private agreements to share benefits and encourage Indigenous community participation have become a common feature of resource sector projects across Canada. The shift in corporate-Indigenous relations complements a parallel shift in Crown-Indigenous relations at the federal, provincial, and territorial levels. This is evident in the increasing number of resource revenue sharing agreements (C-RRS) being developed between Indigenous groups and their provincial/territorial counterparts.

“Options and Opportunities: Resource Revenue Sharing Between the Crown and Indigenous Groups in Canada” Sept. 15, 2017

This report is the first of an ongoing series on resource governance by The Conference Board of Canada’s Northern and Aboriginal Policy group. It provides an overview of options and opportunities for Crown resource revenue sharing with Indigenous groups in Canada, summarizes findings from our ongoing research, and distills insights from forums we participated in throughout 2016–17.

The report identified the following recommendations for Advancing Crown Resource Revenue Sharing With Indigenous Groups:

  • Ensure Indigenous Groups Are Involved in Every Stage of C-RRS Development
  • Ensure That Indigenous Governments Have the Capacity to Meaningfully Participate in C-RRS Agreements
  • Carefully Consider All C-RRS Approaches, Including Hybrid Arrangements
  • Ensure Stakeholders Understand the Potential Cyclical Nature of Revenues From Resource Development Projects
  • Monitor and Report on the Performance of C-RRS Agreements Once Implementation Begins

https://www.conferenceboard.ca/e-library/abstract.aspx?did=9083

Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP)

Established in 1993, CCPPP is a national not-for-profit non-partisan, member-based organization with broad representation from across the public and private sectors. Its mission is to promote smart, innovative and modern approaches to infrastructure development and service delivery through public-private partnerships with all levels of government. CCPPP has over 400 member organizations from across Canada and abroad.

25th Annual CPP Conference, Nov. 2017: keynote address by Jane Phillpot, Minister of Indigenous Services:

“Where I particularly see the potential for P3s to have an impact in indigenous communities is through the fantastic ability to bring design innovation to address risk transfer and the full costing of assets including the very important role of operations and maintenance,” Philpott explained. She also discussed some early P3 project success stories in indigenous communities including the Tlicho all-season road in the Northwest Territories. “It’s going to connect the community, allow for increased economic development and reduce the tremendous cost of transporting goods and services in and out of Whati (First Nations Community),” Philpott noted.

Minister Philpott will highlight the challenges in overcoming the infrastructure deficit in indigenous communities and discuss the need for innovative solutions, including partnerships among these communities, government and the private sector. This innovation will be important as we work with Indigenous partners to build clean drinking water facilities, safe schools, all-season roads, clean and reliable energy, broadband connectivity, and housing in indigenous communities.

Canadian Executive Service Organization: Indigenous Services

With nearly 50 years as an international economic development organization, CESO delivers private sector development and strengthens governing structures to drive both economic and social change at local, national and international levels. Their Volunteer Advisors (VAs) are senior-level professionals who help to catalyze local economic growth by transferring their skills and knowledge to their partners and clients.

CESO has had a long history of working collaboratively with Indigenous communities to create environments where entrepreneurs, leaders, and members can thrive and prosper. CESO Indigenous Services provides flexible and affordable full-service solutions to support Indigenous businesses and communities. “Our approach is to enhance what’s already in the community – ideas, resources, talents and knowledge, by tapping into our large network of exceptional experts who are ready and willing to help, unmotivated by personal gains….This is supported by our business model of linking global networks and local expertise based on our ethical values, so we can provide professional expertise at a very affordable cost.” Stacia Kean (Director, CESO Indigenous Services).

The CESO Indigenous Services team is made up of diverse individuals of staff, volunteers and board members whose common goal is to enhance lives and livelihoods of Indigenous communities across the country. “Everyone has a part to play. At CESO, we strive to build meaningful relationships that inform our approach in every project,” Stacia describes the team’s daily motivation. “Our staff work hard to reach out to communities, listen to them and help them identify solutions to their challenges. Our board members are invested in connecting us to a larger network to grow our work with Indigenous communities, ensuring that our reach goes beyond where we’re at currently.”

Industry Association Commitments

Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP)
  • 90 Producer Members 150 Associate Members

CAPP endorses UNDRIP as a framework for reconciliation in Canada. We support the implementation of its principles in a manner consistent with the Canadian Constitution and law. CAPP calls upon its member companies to ensure employees continue to receive appropriate education and awareness training regarding Indigenous Peoples in Canada. (VOLUNTARY). CAPP commitment is thoroughly dependent upon existing Canadian Law that reflects the guidance of the Supreme Court requiring the Crown to balance the interests of Indigenous Peoples with the interests of broader society

Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada
  • 873 companies and organizations
  • 6,390 individuals
  • 74% membership is Canadian

2017 Policy Framework: Aboriginal Affairs one of six priorities:

  • Improving relationship between companies and communities
  • Clarifying Liberal government’s approach to fulfilling its commitment to implement UNDRIP in Canada
  • Developing improved guidance for companies related to exploration and development in areas with indigenous peoples
  • Creating an advocacy toolkit to support regional industry associations in Canada in their efforts to improve how their jurisdiction implements the Crown’s duty to consult
  • Enhancing participation
  • Advocating for investments that support Aboriginal participation in the economic opportunities created by the industry (skills training, business development, ownership)
  • Advocating for jurisdictions to adopt government resource revenue sharing mechanisms
  • Advocating for timely resolution of land claims

The Aboriginal Program at the PDAC Convention in March 2018 provides a platform for discussion on fostering cooperative, respectful and mutually-beneficial relationships between Aboriginal communities and the minerals industry. This program brings Aboriginal communities and Aboriginal-owned companies together with the industry and other interested parties to share experiences, exchange ideas and network. The Mineral Industry and Indigenous communities: Canadian and international experiencesThe Aboriginal ForumIndigenous Law and Regulatory Frameworks: the evolving landscapeBuilding Partnerships: Indigenous communities and the minerals industry

Mining Association of Canada
  • 39 Full Members 60 Associate Members

No comment on UNDRIP. MAC’s Aboriginal Affairs Committee was formally established in 2013 as a means of fostering continuous progress in addition to the Impact and Benefit Agreements negotiated between mining companies and Aboriginal communities since 1974. These agreements have set out such commitments as education, training, jobs, business development and financial payments to help ensure mining projects bring long-lasting benefits to Aboriginal communities. In terms of employment, the mining sector has become, proportionally, the largest private sector employer of Aboriginal people in Canada.

Forest Stewardship Council

FSC works to help forests protect animal habitat, indigenous peoples’ rights, worker’s rights, and areas of significant environmental or cultural importance

July 22, 2020 – FSC’s new forest management standard enhances and clarifies the deep-rooted need for Free, Prior and Informed Consent (a key requirement of international human right laws), and compels all stakeholders to uphold these rights.

July 22, 2015 – Principle 3: Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

The Organization shall identify and Uphold Indigenous Peoples’ legal and customary rights of

ownership, use and management of land, territories and resources affected by management activities.

3.1   The Organization shall identify the Indigenous Peoples that exist within the Management Unit or are affected by management activities. The Organization shall then, through engagement with these Indigenous Peoples, identify their rights of tenure, their rights of access to and use of forest resources and ecosystem services, their customary rights and legal rights and obligations, that apply within the Management Unit. The Organization shall also identify areas where these rights are contested.

3.2   The Organization shall recognize and uphold the legal and customary rights of Indigenous Peoples to maintain control over management activities within or related to the Management Unit to the extent necessary to protect their rights, resources and lands and territories. Delegation by Indigenous Peoples of control over management activities to third parties requires Free, Prior and Informed Consent.

3.3   In the event of delegation of control over management activities, a binding agreement between The Organization and the Indigenous Peoples shall be concluded through Free, Prior and Informed Consent. The agreement shall define its duration, provisions for renegotiation, renewal, termination, economic conditions and other terms and conditions. The agreement shall make provision for monitoring by Indigenous Peoples of The Organization’s compliance with its terms and conditions.

3.4   The Organization shall recognize and uphold the rights, customs and culture of Indigenous Peoples as defined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (2007) and ILO Convention 169 (1989).

3.5   The Organization, through engagement with Indigenous Peoples, shall identify sites which are of special cultural, ecological, economic, religious or spiritual significance and for which these Indigenous Peoples hold legal or customary rights. These sites shall be recognized by The Organization and their management, and/or protection shall be agreed through engagement with these Indigenous Peoples.

3.6   The Organization shall uphold the right of Indigenous Peoples to protect and utilize their traditional knowledge and shall compensate Indigenous Peoples for the utilization of such knowledge and their intellectual property. A binding agreement as per Criterion 3.3 shall be concluded between The Organization and the Indigenous Peoples for such utilization through Free, Prior and Informed Consent before utilization takes place and shall be consistent with the protection of intellectual property rights

https://fsc.org/en/about-us – documents

Canadian Infrastructure Bank

The 2021 Statement of Priorities and Accountabilities: $1B investment target

Launch of the Indigenous Community Infrastructure Initiative (ICII), which will enable the building of new infrastructure projects in Indigenous communities. The CIB Initiative will generate more investments in projects that are vital to economic growth and environmental protection with Indigenous communities across Canada.

First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities will have the opportunity to partner with the CIB to make innovative investments in projects to help address the infrastructure gap in Indigenous communities. The projects enabled by CIB investments have the potential to provide more low-carbon energy supply and enhanced energy security, reduce greenhouse gases, improve broadband connectivity, more clean and accessible water, as well as create jobs and local economic development. As part of the ICII, the CIB will tailor its innovative, low-interest and long-term financing to provide loans of at least $5 million for up to 80% of total project capital cost. Community-based revenue-generating projects can be from any of the CIB’s priority sectors: green infrastructure, clean power, broadband, public transit and trade and transportation.

Indigenous Business Organizations

The National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB)

Established in 1990, the NIEDB is a Governor in Council appointed board mandated to provide strategic policy advice to the federal government on issues related to Indigenous economic development. Comprised of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis business and community leaders from across Canada, the Board helps governments to respond to the unique needs and circumstances of Indigenous peoples in Canada.

Recommendations Report on Improving Access to Capital for Indigenous Peoples in Canada, (Sept. 2017) is based on a study that Waterstone Strategies recently produced for our Board with the following recommendations to the Government of Canada:

  • That the Government of Canada continue to expand investments in and support for Aboriginal Financial Institutions.
  • That the Government of Canada make a substantive effort to renew the fiscal relationship and to make fiscal fairness and affordable borrowing a reality for Indigenous peoples and communities. This includes addressing current legal and regulatory barriers to accessing capital, as well as exploring and supporting new and alternative lending options.
  • That Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) continue to work with Indigenous peoples, nations and governments to expand investments in communities and to enhance the investment climate.
  • That INAC enhance the relevance, quality and availability of information to Indigenous households, businesses and communities through a commitment to transparency and openness, as well as supporting Indigenous-led research and data governance.

2019 Indigenous Economic Progress Report

The 2019 National Indigenous Economic Development Board (NIEDB) Economic Progress Report provides a thorough and in-depth analysis of the economic realities of Indigenous peoples in Canada. The report includes three core indicators:

  1. employment;
  2. income; and,
  3. community well-being.

These core indicators are examined through 13 separate measures. Additionally, five underlying indicators are considered:

  1. education;
  2. entrepreneurship and business development;
  3. governance;
  4. lands and resources; and, i
  5. infrastructure, with these underlying indicators examined through 18 measures.

Of the 31 measures examined, 11 are new to the 2019 report, including: several which examine workforce representation; enhanced income and educational attainment measures; community financial certification; and, the crowding and condition of housing. The 2019 Report also for the first time includes a Gender-Based Analysis, as well as two new composite indices: the NIEDB Economic Development Index and the Infrastructure Index. This report serves to provide the most complete and robust picture of Indigenous economic well-being in Canada to date.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The promotion of Indigenous economic development requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses the barriers outlined in this report and encourages the foundations of proven success from Indigenous communities across Canada. Fostering sovereignty, supporting Indigenous institutions of governance and community leadership, safeguarding and honouring Indigenous culture and identity, and investing in youth and education are all strong drivers of Indigenous economic development. The National Indigenous Economic Development Board recommends the following actions towards closing the inequity gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians:

EMPLOYMENT

  • Findings suggest that while all Indigenous groups demonstrate higher unemployment rates than non-Indigenous groups, rates are strongly influenced by educational attainment rates, remote/on reserve community location, and gender inequity. Support for programs that match workers to locally-available and education-qualified opportunities can be informed by, and serve to inform community workforce plans. Community workforce plans would predict future employment needs in the community and address concerns voiced by Indigenous businesses regarding talent acquisition by having them engage with plan development. Further, through the anticipation of future local community need, students can have greater assurances of being able to find local employment and target educational plans accordingly while businesses can identify priority hiring targets to encourage local economic development.

INCOME

  • As Indigenous groups are already working in high wage industries (but in the lowest-income jobs within those industries) the opportunity to amplify educational payoffs is great. Through an increase in training and internship opportunities for Indigenous employees in the industries that they are already working in, Indigenous employees could more efficiently move into higher occupational levels and increase their earning potential. Further to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Call to Action #92, the education of non-Indigenous management into the benefits of greater Indigenous representation in high-income occupations would serve to encourage training and professional development opportunities.
  • As Indigenous employees exceed median employment income levels with higher levels of education, this is even greater incentive to develop policies and programs to support Indigenous students towards higher levels of education. Continued showcasing of examples of Indigenous success, mentorship and leadership should be encouraged to enable students to envision the role of education in their future success.

COMMUNITY WELL-BEING

  • The Community well-being index was identified by the Auditor General as lacking comprehensiveness in focusing primarily on economic indicators, not sufficiently utilizing First Nations data and not meaningfully engaging with First Nations to consider Indigenous meanings of community well-being. Health, the environment, language and culture are aspects that are being considered for future study and the Department has committed to working with Indigenous organizations to co-develop a broad dashboard of well-being outcomes to reflect mutually agreed upon metrics. Although the integration of new metrics will make historical comparisons of the CWB problematic, the more thorough assessment of community well-being for Indigenous communities will add considerable value. Consulting with all Indigenous groups will ensure diverse lived-experiences are considered. We look forward to these improvements in measuring outcomes of community well-being for the 2022 Report.

EDUCATION

  • The Board would like to stress the importance of improving educational opportunities for the Indigenous population, especially First Nations on reserve. In this regard, a well-funded education system is essential and the development of strong basic skills (literacy and numeracy) in the early grades should be a top priority.
  • Supports for community-based education must recognize the challenges faced by Indigenous students who must leave the community to attend high school and prioritize their physical and mental health, as well as cultural supports both where they attend high school and within the community to ensure ongoing student success.
  • Given the high levels of college/trades completion, bridging programs to support students who wish to upgrade these certifications towards university degrees would fast track higher levels of education and employment opportunities. Such programs currently exist in some colleges to give credit for 1-2 year programs towards university degree requirements and expansion would further assist Indigenous students towards the attainment of higher education levels.
  • Universities in each of the 3 Northern territories would support students in reducing the high costs and long distances currently required to attend university and increase the availability of a highly educated talent pool in the North. Yukon College is transitioning to Yukon University in 2020, Aurora College in the Northwest Territories is examining the feasibility of transitioning to Northern Canada Polytechnic University, and Arctic College in Nunavut is following recommendations to continue partnering with southern universities rather than pursue a university in Nunavut. In the interim, investment in distance education programs to assist remote students with obtaining higher levels of education would remove some barriers of expense and distance.
  • Ongoing and expanded scholarship funding for Indigenous students pursuing post-secondary education would reduce financial barriers and encourage higher educational attainment rates.

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

  • Research by CCAB suggests that barriers for business development include a lack of knowledge of where and how to apply for financing, as well as types of funding available and eligibility. Enhanced, more specific and greater availability of business services along with communications to increase awareness of application programs and support would benefit entrepreneurs seeking capital financing. Additionally, access to skills training for new business owners would assist with the development of business management skills to support business success.
  • Given the legislation on reserve which disallows tax exemption and therefore discourages incorporation, and information to suggest incorporation is associated with revenue generation, further consideration of how First Nations on reserve businesses could be better supported should be examined.
  • Access to capital remains a barrier to economic development. It is essential that the Aboriginal Financial Institutions are funded to ensure Indigenous entrepreneurs, often less likely to acquire financing from personal home equity or other sources, are able to obtain financing.

GOVERNANCE

  • Strong governance and transparent financial management have led to robust economic development opportunities for Indigenous communities across Canada. The availability of tax revenues to support local development is initiated by the development of property taxation bylaws and supported by skilled and transparent community Financial Management Certification. Ongoing and expanded support for Indigenous communities wishing to pursue these opportunities will further ready communities to direct their own economic development opportunities.
  • Due to an increase in Indigenous populations off reserve/out of territory, the NIEDB recommends the examination of needs and opportunities aimed at the more than 50% of Indigenous peoples living in urban populations.

LANDS AND RESOURCES

  • The Additions to Reserve process provides a mechanism to address outstanding land transfers, but is currently backlogged by approximately 1,300 active applications of which eighty percent of all files represent a legal obligation for the Crown which must be addressed. There is a need to increase resources to the Additions to Reserve program to expedite applications, however there wasn’t any funding announced in the 2019/2020 Federal Budget that was specific to the ATR program. The NIEDB recommends that future Federal Budgets announce funding to enhance and expedite the administration of the ATR program.

INFRASTRUCTURE

  • Although indications suggest that all drinking water advisories will be lifted by 2022, it is essential that this time line not be disrupted and risk management protocols are developed to ensure all DWAs are lifted as soon as possible. Further, ongoing financial commitments must be assured to maintain infrastructure, human resources and testing protocols.
  • Housing remains an ongoing issue that affects all aspects of socio-economic life in Indigenous communities. Although significant investments have been made, ongoing investments are required to ensure homes are repaired and new homes are built to keep pace with growing communities. The newly introduced Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative will hopefully encourage new building methods, materials, architecture or engineering to serve Indigenous families and the environments they live in.
  • This report has demonstrated that connectivity in Northern and remote communities is significantly below levels for all other communities, including remote non-Indigenous communities. Connectivity impacts virtually every aspect of our lives, and predictions for the future of work include an increasing reliance on connectivity and economic progress divided along lines of access to a global economy based on connectivity. Increasing speed and data capacity to all Indigenous communities is essential to social and economic development. Forecasting community need to be ahead of current demand and in consideration of housing realities will ensure connectivity is less likely to be outdated before it becomes a reality.
  • The Infrastructure Index Report captures the current infrastructure picture for remote Indigenous communities in Canada. Updating the index every two years to measure progress in reducing the Indigenous infrastructure gap would be useful.

GENDER

  • Findings indicate that although men have lower educational outcomes than women, they nevertheless earn more than women in the same occupations and industries. In order to understand the sources of these gaps (e.g. family care work responsibilities), a study could be conducted on the particular barriers experienced by Indigenous women in advancing in these occupations and industries with results used to inform policy and programs to improve educational outcomes in men and employment/income outcomes in women.
  • Indigenous men and women demonstrate different educational outcomes. Policies and strategies directed towards increasing high school, college/trades, and university completion rates among Indigenous peoples could address the unique barriers experienced differently by men and women and could be targeted for program and policy development accordingly (e.g. childcare).

YOUTH

  • Entrepreneurship should be promoted and supported as a valid career option for youth through the mentorship and showcasing of Indigenous business leaders and ventures. Government-funded Indigenous youth entrepreneurship/start-up financing should also include essential business services training and coaching/mentorship services.
  • We specifically recommend that the Government create urban Indigenous healing and employment hubs; invest in basic education infrastructure; develop distance education training; create an alumni fund to enable mentorship; and invest in Indigenous scholarship funding to support post-secondary education.
  • Given this strong influence of parents and family on education outcomes – it is important to consider family and community when creating programs that promote education and employment skills for youth. Community inclusion in the development of programming will be essential.

http://www.naedb-cndea.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/NIEDB-2019-Indigenous-Economic-Progress-Report.pdf

National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Associations

NACCA is a membership-driven national association for a network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions, or AFIs. NACCA supports the AFI network, which offers financing to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit businesses and communities. NACCA is committed to the needs of AFIs and the Aboriginal businesses that they serve.

NACCA, the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association, is a network of over 50 Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) dedicated to stimulating economic growth for all Indigenous people in Canada. The AFI network has provided over 45,000 loans totaling over $2.5 billion to businesses owned by First Nations, Métis, and Inuit people. NACCA supports the network by building AFI capacity and fostering Indigenous business development. NACCA’s goal is to provide opportunities for Indigenous entrepreneurs and increase prosperity for Indigenous people in Canada. These efforts increase social and economic self-reliance and sustainability for Indigenous people and communities nationwide.

NACCA advocates for Indigenous economic development by focusing on the following:

  • representing the unified voice of AFIs;
  • publishing national and regional results of AFI work;
  • fostering partnerships and building capacity; and
  • delivering the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program (AEP) products and services to AFIs.
IndigenousWorks

IndigenousWorks, (formerly, the Aboriginal Human Resource Council), announced its new brand name on November 21, 2016. Today we are a national social enterprise that is ISO 9001 certified (quality management system). We were founded as a non-profit national organization in 1998 as a recommendation from the 1996 Report on the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples with a mandate to improve the inclusion and engagement of Indigenous people in the Canadian economy.

For nearly 20 years, we have worked with companies and organizations to strengthen their performance and results in Indigenous employment, workplace engagement and inclusion.  Partnerships are key to developing the right relationships and generating better results.  Indigenous Works is addressing relationship building and responding to the growing need for stronger partnership development between Indigenous-owned enterprises and corporate Canada.

Through our services and products, we help develop inclusive workplaces and high-functioning, authentic and long-term partnerships. Our Inclusion Continuum, is a seven-stage road map that helps organizations become an employer-of-choice. Our partnership and workplace inclusion tools help companies benchmark and implement partnership strategies, practices and behaviours. We have worked with hundreds of companies, including our group of Leadership Circle members, with proven partnership and workplace solutions.

IndigenousWorks Services-Product Catalogue

Discover the benefits of workplace inclusion through our enterprise-wide benchmarking and advisory system. Our team has the expertise to guide you through a personalized three-stage Workplace Inclusion System, directed by our Inclusion Continuum—that will help you build the organizational competencies needed to achieve inclusion excellence—leading to more successful Indigenous engagements and relationships.

Through our advisory system, which is supported by various services and products, we will help you to enhance your partnership value, brand value, and capacity to access the potential of Canada’s fastest growing, youngest, and most under-leveraged asset—Indigenous people.

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

CCAB builds bridges between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples, businesses, and communities through diverse programming, providing tools, training, network building, major business awards, and national events.

Progressive Aboriginal Relations Program

PAR is a certification program that confirms corporate performance in Aboriginal relations at the Bronze, Silver or Gold level. Certified companies promote their level with a PAR logo signalling to communities that they are

  • good business partners;
  • great places to work and;
  • committed to prosperity in Aboriginal communities

Since the program’s introduction in 2001, PAR remains the premier corporate social responsibility program with an emphasis on Aboriginal relations. Using an online management and reporting tool, the program supports participants’ efforts towards progressive improvement and commitment to prosperity in Indigenous communities. As a premier corporate social responsibility program, a high level of assurance is provided through an independent, third-party verification process of company reports on measurable outcomes and initiatives in four performance areas:

  1. Leadership Actions
  2. Employment
  3. Business Development, and
  4. Community Relationships.

The final company level is determined by a jury comprised of Aboriginal business people.

PAR Gold companies demonstrate sustained leadership in Aboriginal relations and their commitment to working with Aboriginal businesses and communities has built the business case that other companies aspire to prove. Their introduction of innovative programs and engagement of Aboriginal people have made an enduring impact on Aboriginal businesses and communities, and demonstrate best practice for those companies introducing Aboriginal relations to their business strategy or seeking to improve year over year.

PAR Silver companies have had their business case proved through their Aboriginal relations; business partnerships are in place; Aboriginal people are adding value at their workplace; and they are supporting sustainability through investment in communities and people. PAR Silver companies recognized early the value of working with Aboriginal communities and can point to outcomes that have made a difference.

PAR Bronze companies are distinguishable among thousands of Canadian businesses because they recognize the business case for working with Aboriginal businesses and communities. Their strategic planning recognizes the mutually-beneficial impact of business development with Aboriginal-owned businesses, the value that Aboriginal people bring to the workplace, and the potential of Aboriginal communities. PAR Bronze companies are beginning a journey, developing the goals and action plans that position them to work with the Aboriginal community.

PAR Committed companies are in the beginning stages of tracking and managing their Aboriginal relations strategies. Committed companies have submitted a report for one year’s worth of company activities and intend to undergo external verification of their performance in the future. The Committed logo represents a company’s commitment to continual improvement in Aboriginal relations and to working across cultures.

Discover the benefits of workplace inclusion through our enterprise-wide benchmarking and advisory system. Our team has the expertise to guide you through a personalized three-stage Workplace Inclusion System, directed by our Inclusion Continuum—that will help you build the organizational competencies needed to achieve inclusion excellence—leading to more successful Indigenous engagements and relationships.

Through our advisory system, which is supported by various services and products, we will help you to enhance your partnership value, brand value, and capacity to access the potential of Canada’s fastest growing, youngest, and most under-leveraged asset—Indigenous people.

August 19, 2021 – Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) announced today several prominent Canadian corporations to be recognized at the Business Recovery Forum, being held September 22, 2021 for achieving certification in Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR).

Gold CertificationSilver CertificationBronze Certification
ALPACImperial OilCAHILL
Bee Clean Building MaintenanceHydro Quebec
Syncrude Canada Ltd.Allteck Line Contractors
BC HydroGreater Victoria Harbour Authority
SaskPower
BC Housing
Ontario Power Generation
CCAB Submission to House of Commons’ Standing Committee on International Trade: Summary

Patrick Watson, Director Public Policy, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Dec. 11, 2020 – Since 1982, CCAB has been committed to the full participation of Indigenous peoples in the Canadian economy. Our work is backed by data-driven research, recognized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as the gold standard for Indigenous business data in Canada… As a lesson learned, resulting from our efforts to ensure Indigenous inclusion, the CCAB has repeatedly highlighted the need for a navigator function specific for Indigenous business to assist with the understanding and uptake of various programs, including those designed to support exporters, Indigenous businesses have found navigating the bureaucracy, which often does not consider their unique legal and place-based circumstances, a significant barrier to accessing the support necessary to keep their business alive and maintain the well-being of their communities.

What we have taken away from this experience is that programs of general application are often not well designed to meet the unique needs of Indigenous businesses. The lack of targeted assistance for Indigenous businesses to utilize these Government supports further adds to the frustration and distrust that is the result of the history between the Crown and Indigenous peoples. This underlines the need for an Indigenous Economic Recovery Strategy that is Indigenous-led, builds Indigenous capacity and is well resourced to support Indigenous prosperity and well-being. This is one of the recommendations found in the Senate Committee on National Finance’ Report on Bill C-9, which notes that “the Federal government should consider adopting a government-wide strategy to support Indigenous businesses, similar to its women Entrepreneurship Strategy and the Black Entrepreneurship Program.” Access to external markets would be an important part of this government-wide strategy, including the need to support Indigenous exporters as part of the recovery.

Such a strategy was not mentioned in the recent Speech from the Throne nor the Fall Economic Statement. Although we acknowledge the number of important renewed commitments made in the Speech from the Throne and the Fall Economic Statement, I would be remiss if I did not express my disappointment that there was no mention of efforts to support the economic empowerment of Indigenous peoples, businesses or communities. This was a missed opportunity for the Government to signal to Canadians that Indigenous prosperity and economic reconciliation matters.

Short and Medium Term Solution

In the immediate term what is needed to support Indigenous exporters is a 5% set-aside, with a navigator service, across all four CanExport programming streams:

  • CanExport SMEs,
  • CanExport Innovation,
  • CanExport Associations and
  • CanExport Community Investments,

for Indigenous businesses, organizations and Aboriginal Economic Development Corporations, also known as Dev Corps. Taking the CanExport SMEs stream as an example, a 5% set aside for First Nations, Métis and Inuit businesses would represent a meaningful investment in Indigenous exporters and Indigenous economic recovery. This proposal is aligned with the Government of Canada’s procurement set-aside commitment which is reflected in the Mandate Letter of the Minister of Public Services and Procurement Canada.

In the medium term, what we would like to see in the upcoming Budget is a plan for the Government of Canada to build the capacity of Indigenous organizations to deliver export opportunity awareness, export readiness training and exporter business missions, in a good way that, draws upon the lessons learned of the recent OECD Report: Linking Indigenous Communities to Regional Development in Canada, to ensure that these supports are culturally appropriate, placed-based and are meaningful for Indigenous businesses.

The CCAB would welcome the opportunity to work with this Committee and Global Affairs Canada on its efforts to build Indigenous capacity. In the last 3 months alone, CCAB has:

  1. hosted and participated in a series of export webinars, with the Trade Commissioner Service, Export Development Canada and the Business Development Bank of Canada, focused on Indigenous businesses,
  2. developing a unique export readiness training opportunity with World Trade Centre-Vancouver for early 2021, and
  3. co-hosted a Canada Australia Indigenous Business Export Dialogue on December 3rd, 2020, which provided a business mission for Indigenous exporters from both countries. Our next Indigenous Business Export Dialogue will take place on January 14th, 2021, this time with Indigenous business from the United States of America.

I would like to leave you with this point for consideration: Too often Indigenous business concerns are an afterthought, resulting in Indigenous organizations like CCAB, working to prove to the Government that their responses have not met the needs of Indigenous peoples. A reasonable starting point to support Indigenous economic recovery would include set-asides and a navigator function of CanExport programming for Indigenous businesses and communities.

CCAB and Sodexo Canada “Business Recovery Forum”

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and Sodexo Canada released a report summarizing the CCAB Business Recovery Forum – a first of its kind virtual event held on September 16, 2020. Over 600 participants attended the event. The Forum was a direct response to Indigenous businesses’ concern over finding solutions on how to move forward through this economic crisis. “CCAB is pleased to release this report alongside our partner, Sodexo Canada and together we commit to applying what we heard to continue to support Indigenous businesses and ensure an economic recovery that includes Indigenous business.” Tabatha Bull, President and CEO CCAB.

Session outcomes indicated a need to strengthen a procurement relationship between Indigenous businesses and both government and corporate Canada. This will be vital for an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Worth noting from the data and participant feedback is that CCAB’s Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program appears to be of growing interest to Canadian organizations. PAR is a certification program that helps organizations build effective and meaningful partnerships with Indigenous businesses and communities. Complementing this feedback was the recurring theme throughout the Forum of a need for meaningful partnerships where Indigenous businesses are involved from the initial stage of a project and are not an afterthought.

Based on the feedback in the report, CCAB commits to:

  • Working with government to advise them on simplifying the procurement process and reducing barriers for Indigenous business.
  • Continue efforts with all government levels and all departments, so they understand and advocate for Indigenous business and an increased Indigenous economy to benefit all.
  • Develop more research and collaborate with organizations, institutions, and governments to support Indigenous business and export growth.
  • Further promote Supply Change™ and the Aboriginal Procurement Marketplace to connect Indigenous businesses with corporations committed to supporting Indigenous businesses through procurement and established vendor partnerships.
  • Reinforce cultural awareness so that companies share rebuilding opportunities with Indigenous businesses and communities.
  • Continue to collaborate with other Indigenous organizations to achieve socio-economic prosperity.
  • Support outreach for the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program to establish real and meaningful Indigenous partnerships.
  • Strive to communicate with and connect more people virtually and in meaningful ways.

Indigenous Resource Network

The Indigenous Resource Network was established in May 2020 to provide a platform for Indigenous workers, business owners and leaders who support Indigenous engagement in the resource sector. We feel the public debate over resource development in Canada has become polarized and divisive. Yet the majority of people, Indigenous and non, want the same thing: to see environmentally responsible projects that have the consent and involvement of the communities most affected go ahead.

June 14, 2021 – The Indigenous Resource Network, a non-partisan platform for Indigenous workers and business owners involved in resource development, commissioned a poll by Environics Research on Indigenous support for natural resource development. 549 self-identified First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons living in rural areas or on reserve across Canada were interviewed by telephone between March 25 – April 16, 2021.

Highlights:

  • 65%, of Indigenous respondents said they supported natural resource development, while only 23% indicated that they were opposed. Asked if a new project were to be proposed near their own community, supporters outweighed opponents 2 to 1 (54% to 26%)
    • majorities supported both mining (59% support vs. 32% oppose) and oil and gas development (53% support vs. 41% oppose).
  • The reason for such high levels of support are clear:
    • job opportunities from resource and economic development were tied with access to health care as the most urgent priority for respondents,
    • as compared to other issues including governance, education, traditional activities, and federal transfers.

“This helps confirm what we’ve seen and heard in our communities. Most of us are not opposed resource to development. We are opposed to being left out,” said John Desjarlais, IRN advisory board member. “In particular, the poll finds that best practices in environmental protection, economic benefits and high safety standards lead to increased Indigenous support for projects.”

“Indigenous peoples have been using their lands and resources for thousands of years. This is not new to us,” stated Arnie Bellis, Chair of the IRN advisory board. “What we want is meaningful inclusion and ownership in the development of our own resources. This will create jobs for our young peoples and provide them with opportunities to develop their intellect.”

OTHER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Support for resource development was higher for working age (35-54 years) respondents (70%) than their younger cohort (18-34 Years) (56%)
  • Indigenous men were more likely to oppose resource development (28%) than Indigenous women (19%).
  • Strong support for natural resource development was consistently higher among those who felt they were well-informed about the topic. However only three in ten (30%) described themselves as very or extremely informed about the topic. More than one-third felt somewhat well-informed (38%), while three in ten did not feel well-informed (30%).
  • Half of respondents (49%) believed that resource development can definitely be done while respecting the land and the environment definitely can, with another third (36%) indicating that it may or may not be possible. Only one in ten (11%) believed being successful at both was definitely not a possibility.
  • Indigenous people were more likely to support resource development if the project: included best practices in protecting the environment (79%), provided economic benefits such as jobs, business opportunities and revenues for the community (77%), had best practices in safety (77%), consulted the community (69%) and received community support to proceed (62%).
  • The percentage of respondents who identified the following as an “urgent” priority to improving the quality of life in their community included: better access to health care (56%), job opportunities from economic or resource development (55%), better access to education and training (53%); focus on traditional activities such as ceremonies or being on the land (39%); better governance (36%); increased transfer payments from the federal government to the community (33%).
Indigenomics

The Indigenomics Institute is an Indigenous economic advisory for public governments, Indigenous communities and the private sector. The Indigenomics Institute focuses on four core areas in overcoming Indigenous economic barriers and addressing challenges:

  1. DIALOGUE PLATFORM FOR INDIGENOUS ECONOMIC SOLUTIONS 
  2. ECONOMIC POLICY/ RESEARCH/ANALYSIS / PLANNING 
  3. EDUCATION/ TRAINING
  4. PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT 

Indigenomics honors the powerful thinking of Indigenous wisdom of local economy, relationships and human values. Indigenomics is about increasing the role and visibility of Indigenous peoples in the new economy. It is about understanding indigenous ways of being and worldview. Indigenomics draws on ancient principles that have supported indigenous economies for thousands of years, and works to implement them as modern practices.

Indigenomics By Design – 100 Billion Dollar Conference 2019 June 24-26

It will introduce the Indigenomics economic mix, a series of economic levers to support the focused growth of the Indigenous economy towards achieving a 100 billion Indigenous annual economy. It will further introduce the concept of the development of an Indigenomics Economic Council to support the metrics and outcomes of the emerging 100 billion dollar national Indigenous economy.

  • National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association
  • National Aboriginal Trust Officers Association
  • First Nations Major Projects Coalition, and the
  • Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business Association. ​
Economic Lever 1Leadership in Indigenous Equity
Economic Lever 2Infrastructure and the 100 Billion Dollar Indigenous Economy
Economic Lever 3The Role of Procurement in a 100 billion dollar Indigenous Economy
Economic Lever 4The Role of Trade in the Indigenous Economy 
Economic Lever 5The Growth of Indigenous Entrepreneurship
Economic Lever 6The Capitalization of the Indigenous Economy
Economic Lever 7The Growth of Indigenous Clean Energy
Economic Lever 8The Role of Social Enterprise in the Emerging Indigenous Economy
Economic Lever 9Reconciliation in the Indigenous Economy Leadership of the Philanthropic Community
Economic Lever 10Leadership in ECommerce
Economic Lever 11The Role of Technology in the Growing Indigenous Economy
Economic Lever 12Leadership in the Investment Environment 
Official Federal Government Response: Sept, 5, 2019

The Government of Canada is not the lead on a response for Calls to Action 92.

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