It would be sadly ironic if policies supposedly designed to benefit Indigenous peoples were to now undercut the promising developments in inclusive economic growth and the transition of Indigenous communities from the margins to the centre of the Canadian economy.
Indigenous people have long strived to have a seat at the table, to participate as meaningful partners in Canada's economy, and actualize on their rights. Through decades of hard-fought legal battles, modern treaty renegotiations, and broader consultation frameworks, Indigenous communities are finally coming to benefit from economic opportunities that were previously enjoyed only by non-Indigenous people.
In particular, the natural resource sector is moving hand in hand with Indigenous peoples in Canada, forging meaningful and mutually beneficial partnerships with communities. While much of Canada lags behind, the resource sector has strived to bring reconciliation into policy and operational frameworks, answering the call to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
While not without its challenges, substantial Indigenous involvement in industries like oil and gas development have raised incomes, brought own-source revenue to communities, and allowed for greater independence for First Nations.
However, these gains are increasingly at risk as government policies threaten the very industries that are underpinning Indigenous prosperity. With this prosperity now at a crossroads, this Macdonald-Laurier Institute project, led by Munk Senior Fellow Ken Coates, seeks to elevate Indigenous voices and refocus policy-makers on issues of importance to those communities that rely on economic partnerships in the resource economy.
Indigenous Policy Leaders: In their own words
Ep. 54 - Canadians are just waking up to a new Indigenous reality with Ken Coates and JP Gladu
Indigenous Prosperity at a Crossroads: An MLI Conversation with Boomer Desjarlais
Indigenous Prosperity at a Crossroads: An MLI Conversation with Esther Peterson