Ken CoatsHow can natural resource companies best work with Aboriginal Canadians?

OTTAWA, Dec. 23, 2015 – There has been great progress in integrating Aboriginal Canadians into jobs in the natural resource sector, but there is still lots of room for improvement.

That was the message from Senior Fellow Ken Coates in a new Straight Talk Q&A with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute.

To read the full Q&A, click here.

Coates says many Canadians would be shocked to learn how well Aboriginal Canadians have done in finding employment in the natural resource sector.

“Resource development is at the front line of reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples in Canada and we should be extremely pleased with how companies are responding and changing”, he says.

But there are some areas on which natural resource companies and governments across Canada could do better.

Coates offers some suggestions for how the natural resource sector can change the fortunes of Aboriginal Canadians in the 21st century.

This Q&A delves deeper into some of the ideas Coates discusses in his recent MLI paper, Unearthing Human Resources.


Ken Coates is a Senior Fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and 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, please contact Mark Brownlee, communications manager, at 613-482-8327 x105 or email at

MLI would not exist without the support of its donors. Please consider making a small contribution today.