Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

February 17, 2009 13:55 ET

Government of Canada and Aboriginal Advisory Board Working to Improve Economic Development

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Feb. 17, 2009) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, met today with the Executive Committee of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board (NAEDB) to discuss the recent progress being made on an array of Aboriginal economic development initiatives.

"The Government of Canada is working with the NAEDB and our other partners on a number of economic development initiatives that will have real and long-term benefits for the well-being and prosperity of Aboriginal communities," stated Minister Strahl. "We are taking steps to ensure that Aboriginal people fully share in the economic opportunities offered throughout Canada."

In Budget 2009, the Government provided $1.4 billion over two years for specific initiatives aimed at improving the well-being and prosperity of Aboriginal people in Canada, including $175 million for Aboriginal skills and training opportunities expected to create thousands of news jobs for Aboriginal workers. Aboriginal people also stand to benefit from the many other measures in Budget 2009 designed to promote economic development in Canada, including investments in housing and infrastructure projects, increased access to funding for small businesses, and support for industries like manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, fisheries, mining and forestry.

"Aboriginal economic development is a critical priority if we want to solve a host of other social issues for our people," said Chief Clarence Louie, Chairperson of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board. "Economic development is the cornerstone of prosperity-without it, you have third world conditions."

In the coming year, the Government is planning to introduce a new federal framework that will align all federal actions in support of Aboriginal economic development. The Government recently concluded a broad engagement process that sought input on the framework from Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders. The NAEDB will play a key role in the development of the new framework, including providing advice on how the Government and Aboriginal businesses and communities can work together more effectively to increase Aboriginal participation in the national economy.

The National Aboriginal Economic Development Board is mandated by the federal Cabinet and members are appointed by Order-in-Council. The Board acts as a vital link between policy makers, legislators, government departments, and Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal business and community leaders, providing counsel on all matters pertaining to Aboriginal economic development.

This release is also available on the Internet at

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl
    Nina Chiarelli
    Press Secretary
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
    Media Relations