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Doing Business with Canadian Aboriginal Communities

Doing Business with Canadian Aboriginal Communities

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Doing Business with Canadian Aboriginal Communities

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  1. Doing Business with Canadian Aboriginal Communities Breakfast Seminar Canadian German Chamber of Commerce November 16, 2011

  2. Overview • Who are Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples • Aboriginal Economic Footprint • Challenges and Opportunities • Overcoming Challenges through positive relationships

  3. Aboriginal peoples • Aboriginal peoples of Canada, as defined by the Constitution Act, 1982, comprise the Indian, Inuit and Métis peoples of Canada. • Each distinct group has unique heritages, languages, cultures. • Over one million people identify as Aboriginal with 2/3 North American Indian; 30% Metis; 5% Inuit • 45% growth btwn 1996-2006 (higher birth rate, longer life expectancy) • Fastest growing population; median age 22-25; 1/3 under 15 yrs of age

  4. Aboriginal Population growth beyond National average

  5. Canada’s Aboriginal PeopleS

  6. Aboriginal Economic Footprint • If Aboriginal communities are to prosper, they must develop viable business opportunities which can lead to increased Aboriginal employment • Combined income of Aboriginal households, business and govt sectors is expected to reach $32 billion by 2016 (TD Economics and CCAB) • Aboriginal economic development corporations (EDCs) contribute about 37% to aggregate annual income • 72% of EDCs have been in operation for 10 yrs + with annual sales revenues of $5 million or more

  7. International Business aspirations “First Nations recognize the growing importance of Asian markets, and the opportunity to seek out a competitive advantage to expand economic opportunities for First Nations and all of Canada.” -- “First Nations have innovative plans for community-based sustainable economic development,” …“and we are reaching out to partners nationally and internationally for opportunities that work for our peoples and communities.” National Chief, AFN, Sean Atleo

  8. ABORIGINAL ENTREPRENEURS • In 2006, 34,045 Aboriginals self-employed (up 25%) • Metis are largest self-employed group (almost 50%) • First Nations are second at 45% • Inuit have less than 2% declared self-employed • 1/3 Aboriginal businesses provide employment to one or more full-time Aboriginal employees

  9. Diversity of Aboriginal Businesses

  10. Aboriginal Land as an Economic Asset • FN reserve lands cover almost three million hectares • Inuit settled land claims in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Northern Quebec which provided monies for investment • Ie.NunavutLand Claims Agreement (1999) gave title to Inuit-owned lands measuring about 350,000 km square • Economic Development: casinos, residential developments, hotel developments, golf courses, industrial parks; airlines, arctic cruises, tour operations • Job creation and training opportunities

  11. Opportunities • As Aboriginal groups gain greater control of capital and resources, opportunities arise for partnership agreements, JV’s with your business • Access to a young, local pool of Aboriginal employees who can be trained to fill growing labour shortages • Long-term business relationships that can lead to additional business opportunities • Sharing information and transferring knowledge • Gain trust within the Aboriginal community you work with and neighbouring communities

  12. Challenges • Community readiness: whether there is sufficient financial and human capacity to engage in a project • Educational attainment: in 2006, 41% of the Aboriginal population had post-secondary certification; only 8% had a university degree; skills training may be required • Financing FN business on-reserve a challenge for lenders • Defects in First Nation property rights (Indian Act) • no ownership of the lands (collectively or individually) • Fed Govt has legislative jurisdiction & mgmt over reserve lands • World economic outlook is still changing

  13. Get to Know the Aboriginal Community • Review the community’s website, read national and Aboriginal newspaper articles, talk to provincial government contacts and businesses to understand local issues and help further your objectives • Who is the Chief and Council: meet face-to-face • When is the next election – usually every two years • Develop a consultation plan or ask the community for their consultation protocols and land use policies

  14. Create Mutually beneficial business relationships • Balance corporate, social and environmental responsibility with prosperity for both Parties • Use agreements to outline understandings that help to build trusting and respectful relationships • Develop policies and protocols (together) that respect good business practice and First Nation values • Establish a regular meeting schedule and create a forum for open and honest communication

  15. Be Open and honest • Engage early, engage often (consultation) – directly involve First Nations at the earliest opportunity • Understand the uniqueness of the First Nation community, and utilize the wisdom of Elders and others with specialized knowledge • Manage expectations and inform the community about opportunities as well as risks of a project • Educate communities about the sector your company works in • Encourage entrepreneurship and partnerships

  16. Resources and links • Assembly of First Nations: • Metis National Council: • Metis Nation of Ontario: • Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami: • Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business: • Metis Nation Economic Dvmt Portal: • Human Resources and Skills Development: • Aboriginal Human Resource Council: • National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Assn:

  17. Questions? Patricia Stirbys Independent Consultant Toronto ON M5G 0A6 e: c: 647-888-1082