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Coalition announces launch of Indigenous Economic Strategy

Coalition announces launch of Indigenous Economic Strategy

OTTAWA — A coalition of more than 25 national Indigenous organizations has unveiled a new National Indigenous Economic Strategy (NIES), the first such strategy to be built and designed exclusively by Indigenous leaders, institutions and organizations from across Canada.

NIES spokesperson Dawn Madahbee Leach explained in a recent release that the strategy has four strategic pathways, people, lands, infrastructure and finance, with 107 Calls to Economic Prosperity to “guide Canadian society toward a more equitable and prosperous future.”

The release states research has found that if the gap in opportunities for Indigenous communities was closed, it would result in a boost of more than $30 billion to Canada’s GDP. If more Indigenous people had equitable access to economic opportunities, 135,000 more First Nations, Metis and Inuit individuals would be employed, bringing in $6.9 billion per year in employment income.

In addition, reducing poverty among Indigenous people would save federal and provincial/territorial governments more than $8 billion a year.

“Canada has become wealthy from the natural resources of Indigenous lands while many Indigenous people continue to live in poverty,” stated Leach, from Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation, Ont. and general manager of the Waubetek Business Development Corporation.

“The four strategic pathways are designed to shift the status quo from managing poverty to growing prosperity. A recent study conducted by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives found that Indigenous children in Canada are more than twice as likely to live in poverty than non-Indigenous children. The time for this strategy is now – to accelerate our collective efforts to eradicate  poverty and achieve a more inclusive Canadian economy.”

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