OTTAWA, ONTARIO (April 21, 2010) - The Honourable Chuck Strahl, Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, announced support today for a new program aimed at increasing the participation of Saskatchewan Métis businesses in the resource and energy sectors.
The Government of Canada contributed $5 million to the Clarence Campeau Development Fund (CCDF), who added $1 million from their own capital, to establish the new Métis Energy and Resource Program.
“This significant investment demonstrates the Government of Canada's ongoing commitment to the long-term, sustainable economic development of Métis people and businesses,” said Minister Strahl. “Building upon our considerable progress made through the Métis Nation Protocol and the Métis Economic Development Symposium, the Government is forging partnerships that will enable Métis to share fully in the economic opportunities offered throughout Canada.”
The Métis Energy and Resource Program will be a self-sustaining program managed by the CCDF. The program will have two components: an Equity Contribution Program, providing support to independent Métis entrepreneurs, and a Community Infrastructure Program to create and build Métis-owned businesses.
“As a result of this new program, Métis people and businesses will be better able to take advantage of the emerging opportunities in Saskatchewan's energy- and resource-rich economy,” said Roland Duplessis, the Chief Executive Officer of the CCDF.
The CCDF was established in 1997 through an agreement between the Government of Saskatchewan and the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan. The mission of the CCDF is to improve the economic circumstances of Saskatchewan's Métis by providing funding for business development, community economic development, management skills development, and other assistance to new and existing Métis-owned businesses.
"This new federal investment in the CCDF is a positive step that will only fortify what our government has done in this year's budget to increase CCDF's funding. The CCDF is already creating jobs and supporting new Métis business ventures in the Saskatchewan economy and this support by both levels of government will allow the CCDF to pursue new opportunities in the energy and resources sector," said Saskatchewan Minister of First Nations and Métis Relations Bill Hutchinson.
“The Métis Nation – Saskatchewan is thrilled to see partners from all levels of government working together to help Métis entrepreneurs and communities gain access to new opportunities in the energy and resource sectors,” said Robert Doucette, President of the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan. “We welcome this sizeable new investment from the federal government, which will have a real and lasting impact on Métis economic development in the province.”
“This investment is an example of how the Government of Canada is delivering on its promise of jobs and long-term growth for Canadians,” said Rob Clarke, Member of Parliament for Desenthé-Missinippi-Churchill River. “By working together with our partners, we are helping Aboriginal and Saskatchewan communities to take part in major development projects that will contribute to our country's economic recovery.”
The Government of Canada is investing in the Métis Energy and Resource Program through the Major Resource and Energy Development (MRED) Investments Initiative, an initiative designed to help Aboriginal businesses partner in some of the most important economic developments and energy projects in the country. This initiative is supported by the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, the Government's policy framework outlining its vision, priorities, and strategy for increasing the participation of Aboriginal peoples in the Canadian economy.
This announcement follows the unanimous decision by Parliamentarians declaring 2010 as Year of the Métis to recognize the contributions of Métis to all aspects of Canadian society.
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