Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

October 25, 2011 18:57 ET

Aboriginal Business Group and Government of Canada Working Together to Promote Aboriginal Entrepreneurship

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 25, 2011) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, along with the Honourable Peter Penashue, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, and Chris Warkentin, Member of Parliament for Peace River, Alberta, participated in the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business' Aboriginal Entrepreneurs Conference and Tradeshow held in Ottawa on October 24 and 25, 2011.

"Strengthening Aboriginal entrepreneurship is a key priority of our Government's Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development", said Minister Duncan. "2011 was declared 'Year of the Entrepreneur' by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and it certainly has been a year filled with progress. Our Government is proud to partner with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and we look forward to working with them, and other partners, to ensure the continued prosperity of Aboriginal businesses."

The Government of Canada and its partners announced investments towards three projects and one investment fund that will help Aboriginal entrepreneurs to expand and grow their businesses and create jobs across the country.

"Aboriginal business is growing at a significant rate, despite recent downturns in the economy. We were pleased to host this conference that identified major opportunities for Aboriginal business across the country, and we had an opportunity to review the necessary tools for success," said Clint Davis, CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.

A contribution of $3,112,000 is going toward funding for the Métis Entrepreneurship Fund (MEF), which was established to respond to a demand for mid-market loan financing for Métis entrepreneurs and will serve as a financial tool to generate opportunities for Métis businesses in the Prairies. The MEF is managed by three Métis capital corporations: the Apeetogosan Métis Development Inc (Alberta), the SaskMétis Economic Development Corporation (Saskatchewan) and the Louis Riel Capital Corporation (Manitoba).

Kitsaki Mining Limited Partnership received an investment of $1,236,000 to assist the Lac La Ronge Indian Band's Kitsaki Mining Limited Partnership to participate in mining activities in Lac La Ronge, Saskatchewan. This project is expected to provide significant economic benefits to the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and the surrounding communities, including the creation of many jobs, as well as skills training opportunities for First Nation people.

The Government of Canada is also funding a pilot project that will support Inuit women in business. The Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada are receiving $348,633 to lead a project entitled, Inuit Women in Business Network. The funding will establish the Network, create a toolkit of resources supporting Aboriginal entrepreneurship in the North, and will help create financial literacy and business development, as well as put in place an information sharing web portal, a peer/mentorship program model, a national roundtable, and an in-depth final report and evaluation.

The Cooperative d'Ivujivik is receiving $200,000 for the construction of a new 16 room hotel for tourists, business people and officials travelling and working in the Nunavik region of Quebec. The new hotel will create full and part-time employment opportunities in the Inuit community of Ivujivik.

The Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development represents a fundamental change to how the federal government supports Aboriginal economic development. The Framework makes use of a modern and comprehensive approach to Aboriginal economic development that is opportunity-driven and places emphasis on building strategic partnerships with Aboriginal groups, the private sector, and the provinces and territories.

Among other things, the federal government is working to improve access to capital, encourage increased Aboriginal participation in procurement activity and support greater access to business expertise and services. Increasing Aboriginal participation in the economy and strengthening entrepreneurship creates jobs and improves the well-being and quality of life for Aboriginal people, and all of Canada.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Moira Wolstenholme
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada