Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada

October 13, 2010 16:45 ET

Government of Canada Supports Aboriginal Women's Entrepreneurship

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 13, 2010) - Parliamentary Secretary Shelly Glover, Member of Parliament for Saint Boniface, on behalf of the Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, announced today an investment of $1 million over two years to develop and implement pilot projects to promote Aboriginal women's entrepreneurship. 

The announcement follows the Roundtable on Gender and Aboriginal Economic Development, a two-day meeting of Aboriginal women's groups, economic development officers, entrepreneurs and federal officials. This event, co-chaired by Dawn Madahbee of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board along with Status of Women Canada and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, was organized to help identify strategies to ensure that Aboriginal women benefit from the implementation of the Government's Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development.

"Aboriginal women have a vital role to play in economic development in their communities and in Canada," said Mrs. Glover. "Through this investment, and other initiatives under our Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, Aboriginal women will have the tools and support needed to realize their economic goals."

"Aboriginal women in Canada are eager to be participants in the Canadian economy through small business development and are anxious to become business leaders in Canada," said Dawn Madahbee. "The development of these pilot projects will be critical to helping ensure Aboriginal women entrepreneurs have the necessary skills and tools to continue driving economic development in their communities."

"Through this investment and through our collaborative work with partnering organizations, the Government of Canada is helping Aboriginal women overcome barriers to their success in the Canadian marketplace," said the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister for Status of Women. "These measures demonstrate some of the important work that our Government has undertaken to recognize and support Canadian women entrepreneurs across Canada."

The investment will focus on providing Aboriginal women entrepreneurs with financial literacy training along with access to business development tools and capital to help them establish and run viable, sustainable businesses. These initiatives will help to address some of the key barriers currently limiting the participation of Aboriginal women in the Canadian economy.

Two pilot projects related to this investment are currently being developed in close collaboration with national Aboriginal organizations, including the Native Women's Association of Canada, Pauktuutit, the Assembly of First Nations Women's Council and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples. These stakeholders will continue to play a key role in the implementation of the pilots, which represent a first step in helping to improve the economic outcomes of Aboriginal women.

Strengthening Aboriginal entrepreneurship - including business opportunities for Aboriginal women - is a strategic priority of the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development. Released in June 2009, the Framework is a modern, comprehensive and opportunity-driven approach to Aboriginal economic development that puts emphasis on building strategic partnerships with Aboriginal groups, the private sector and the provinces and territories.

The Roundtable on Gender and Aboriginal Economic Development was developed in collaboration with key national Aboriginal organizations and Status of Women Canada. Held in Ottawa on October 12 and 13, 2010, the roundtable included an engagement session with Aboriginal women's groups on the renovation of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada's and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency's Aboriginal lands and economic development programs.

October is Women's History Month in Canada. This year's Women's History Month theme, "Recognizing Canadian Women in Business," celebrates the important contributions of women, including Aboriginal women, to Canadian business.

This release is also available on the Internet at 

Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Michele-Jamali Paquette
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    Media Relations
    Indian and Northern Affairs Canada