MLI Senior Fellow fielded questions from the public on Reddit earlier this monthKen Coats

OTTAWA, March 6, 2015 – The latest instalment in the Macdonald-Laurier Institute’s Straight Talk Series of Q&A’s is drawn from a lively discussion on Aboriginal affairs that Senior Fellow Ken Coates held last month with users of the social networking site Reddit.

Coates, who is also a University of Saskatchewan professor, is the leader of MLI’s Aboriginal Canada and the Natural Resource Economy project. He is the author most recently of the MLI report Sharing the Wealth: How resource revenue agreements can honour treaties, improve communities and facilitate Canadian development.

The questions from Reddit users were varied and informed. Coates tackled topics ranging from racism in Winnipeg to changing Canadians’ opinions about First Nations, to the importance of recent Supreme Court Decisions on Aboriginal rights.

Throughout the discussion, Coates sounded a note of reasoned optimism. “The real promise lies in the service and support sector, which includes hundreds of Aboriginal businesses, employing Aboriginal people”, he wrote. “The growth here is stunning and impressive. Watch this space in the coming years. The level of Aboriginal business engagement will shock many people and destroy many stereotypes”.

To read the full Q&A, click here.

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Ken Coates is a Senior Fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and a Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation in the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan.

The Macdonald-Laurier Institute is the only non-partisan, independent national public policy think tank in Ottawa focusing on the full range of issues that fall under the jurisdiction of the federal government. Join us in 2015 as we celebrate our 5th anniversary.

For more information or to arrange an interview with Ken Coates, please contact Mark Brownlee, communications manager, at 613-482-8327 x105 or email at mark.brownlee@macdonaldlaurier.ca.