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Released in June 2009, the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development (the Framework) provides a new and comprehensive approach to Aboriginal economic development that reflects the significant, real and growing opportunities for Aboriginal people in Canada.
Developed in partnership with key stakeholders, the Framework represents a fundamental change to how the federal government supports Aboriginal economic development. The Framework provides for a focused, governmentwide approach that is responsive to new and changing economic conditions and leverages partnerships to address persistent barriers that impede the full participation of Aboriginal people in the Canadian economy.
In addition to the Framework, the Government of Canada has pursued a number of strategic actions over the last four years to foster Aboriginal and Northern economic development and increase the participation of Aboriginal Canadians and Northerners in the economy.
Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada's overall strategy to stimulate the Canadian economy, recognizes that building new opportunities for Aboriginal Canadians to fully participate in the Canadian economy is the most effective way to address the socio-economic gap faced by the majority of Aboriginal Canadians.
In June 2009, the role of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board to provide advice on economic development matters was strengthened. This arms-length, private-sector board provides critical advice on areas such as investment strategies, business creation, access to business capital, Aboriginal involvement in major projects, Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal partnerships, as well as policy development.
In August 2009, the new, stand-alone Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency was created. This Agency will help provide the foundation for a prosperous economic future for those who live, work and support their families in the North.
Over the last four years, the Government of Canada has also enacted enabling legislation in a number of areas, including commercial and industrial development on reserve, land management, oil and gas and moneys management, taxation and financial and statistical management.
While the Framework and related initiatives represent a modern and strategic approach to Aboriginal economic development, there is an emerging consensus that government programs should be more responsive to new and changing conditions and should consider the unique needs of First Nations, Métis, and Inuit.
In keeping with the Government of Canada's commitment to developing meaningful partnerships with stakeholders, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) will be organizing a series of national and regional engagement sessions to obtain input on how Aboriginal economic development programs may be renovated to better meet the needs of Aboriginal Canadians across Canada.
These sessions will take place from May to November 2010, and will focus on obtaining input from individuals and organizations with direct experience in Aboriginal economic development. The process will also focus on building and strengthening existing partnerships with all stakeholders and determining the unique needs and goals of First Nations, Métis and Inuit as they relate to economic development. This Engagement Resource Kit is the first step in the engagement process.
I am confident that renovation of the long-standing programs that exist to support Aboriginal economic development will result in meaningful change to how the government partners with Aboriginal businesses, entrepreneurs and communities and will support the ultimate outcome of increased participation of Aboriginal Canadians in the economy. There is much work to be done, but we are partners in this process and with your participation, we can make a difference.
Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development,
Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians, and
Minister of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency
There are emerging trends and significant evidence to suggest that Aboriginal Canadians are poised to take an unprecedented step toward becoming full participants in the Canadian economy – as entrepreneurs, employers and employees.
The Aboriginal population is the fastest growing, and youngest segment of the Canadian population.
Between 2001 and 2006, the Aboriginal population grew four times faster than the non-Aboriginal population and, with a median age of 26.5 years, is 13 years younger, on average, than the rest of the Canadian population.
Over the next ten years, 400,000 Aboriginal Canadians will reach an age to enter the labour market, representing a significant opportunity to help meet Canada's long-term demand for workers.
An already sizeable Aboriginal land base is growing significantly with the settlement of comprehensive and specific land claims. First Nations now own or control over 15 million hectares of land. Inuit own or control over 45 million hectares of land.
Over $315 billion in major resource developments have been identified in or near Aboriginal communities. In the North, the mining and oil and gas sectors have proposed developments in the range of $24 billion that will impact Aboriginal communities in the next decade.
The private sector is increasingly recognizing the tremendous economic potential of Aboriginal Canadians.
Many of the largest resource-development projects underway in this country – such as diamonds in the North, oil sands in the West and nickel in the East – feature partnerships with Aboriginal groups.
New generations of Aboriginal leaders are business-oriented, and increasingly recognize economic development as a means to selfreliance and greater autonomy for their communities and their people.
Aboriginal businesses, both privately- and community-owned, are prominent in the renewable and non-renewable resource sectors. They are also becoming increasingly active across a number of industrial sectors, including air and ground transportation, the manufacturing and distribution of consumer goods, and financial services.
More detail and some interesting facts and figures about the current environment for Aboriginal economic development can be found in Annex A.
The last policy framework for Aboriginal economic development was released in 1989 as the Canadian Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy (CAEDS). Since that time, the conditions, needs, opportunities and relationships of and with Aboriginal Canadians have changed significantly.
In Budget 2008, the Government of Canada committed to working with Aboriginal groups and other stakeholders to develop a new framework that was opportunity-driven, results-focused and partnership-based.
Released in June 2009, the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development represents a fundamental change to how the federal government supports Aboriginal economic development. Developed through extensive engagement with other federal departments and agencies, provinces and territories, Aboriginal groups, and the private sector, the Framework is a focused, governmentwide approach to Aboriginal economic development. The advice of the Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples' 2007 Report “Sharing Canada's Prosperity – A Hand Up, Not a Handout” was also considered in the development of the Framework.
The Framework includes a set of guiding principles that help shape federal actions and investments to support Aboriginal economic development.
The Framework emphasizes the Government of Canada's ongoing commitment to engage with all stakeholders to ensure federal investments and actions keep pace with a dynamic and changing environment.
The Framework is a “whole of government” approach to Aboriginal economic development that provides a mechanism to coordinate and focus federal actions and investments through a clear set of strategic objectives:
An Action Plan to support effective implementation of the Framework has been established and provides over $200 million in new investments to promote greater access to capital and Aboriginal procurement opportunities, to support Aboriginal participation in resource development opportunities, to build capacity among First Nation land managers, and to accelerate the Additions to Reserve process in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
The Action Plan sets the stage for meaningful change in Aboriginal economic development conditions and opportunities. In recognition of the emerging consensus that government programs should be more responsive to new and changing conditions and the unique needs of Aboriginal Canadians, the Plan includes a commitment by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) to renovate the existing suite of programs that support Aboriginal economic development.
While the Framework and corresponding Action Plan represent a modern approach, many of the programs established to support Aboriginal economic development have been in place for some time.
The existing suite of programs that support Aboriginal economic development are listed below.
The ABDP provides financing, business support and information to increase the competitiveness and success of Aboriginal businesses in Canadian and world markets.
The ATC provides assistance to strengthen the network of Aboriginal-controlled developmental lending institutions through funding agreements with the National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association (NACCA) targeted at providing support services and training.
The FIP provides contributions to the establishment, expansion or diversification of Aboriginal Financial Institutions.
The LLR encourages commercial financial institutions to provide debt financing to First Nation businesses that have assets on a reserve.
The MRED provides financing to support the planning and feasibility work for major projects, and provides equity contributions to leverage commercial financing.
The AWPI is a partnership initiative of the federal government to increase the participation of Aboriginal peoples in the labour market through advocacy activities designed to educate and inform employers about the advantages of hiring Aboriginal peoples.
The CEDP provides core financial support to First Nation and Inuit communities for the provision of economic development services to their community. Key funding recipients include First Nation Councils, governments of self-governing First Nation and Inuit communities, representative organizations of Inuit communities and other organizations mandated by the eligible recipients to carry out ongoing activities and projects on their behalf.
The CEOP provides proposal-based financial support, in response to opportunities, to First Nation and Inuit communities and the organizations they mandate based on the extent of the opportunity's economic impact on the community.
The CSSP funds the implementation of national and regional plans to deliver support services to First Nation and Inuit community economic development organizations. The support services are intended to increase economic capacity within community organizations.
The PSAB assists Aboriginal firms in doing more contracting with all federal government departments and agencies, and in gaining access to the overall procurement process.
CL provides funding for surveys, environmental site assessments and other activities related to commercial leasing and designations on reserve to support economic development.
The CSMP provides funding to First Nations, in partnership with the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP) Secretariat, for the assessment and remediation of contaminated sites on reserve lands in order to reduce risks to human health and the environment.
The FNLM regime, a First Nations-led initiative, is a sectoral governance arrangement that provides participating First Nations with lawmaking powers to govern their reserve lands, resources and environment. First Nations operating under the FNLM regime are no longer governed by the land-related sections of the Indian Act.
The RLEMP provides core financial support to participating First Nations for land management and offers a two-year professional capacity building program delivered by the University of Saskatchewan and the National Aboriginal Land Managers Association (NALMA).
Detailed program charts with more information on existing community economic development, business development and lands and environment management programming can be found in Annexes E, F and G.
Legislat ive and regulatory initiat ives that support Aboriginal economic development, such as the First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act (FNCIDA) and the First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act (FNOGMMA), will be considered as part of the program renovation process.
Over the course of 2010, INAC intends to engage stakeholders in a dialogue on how the existing suite of Aboriginal economic development programs may be renovated to better meet the needs of Aboriginal Canadians. The engagement session will focus on obtaining feedback in six key areas:
While the engagement will focus on the above key areas, all feedback received will be considered as part of the overall effort to ensure that existing programs align with the Framework and meet the needs of Aboriginal Canadians.
In addition to the Framework, there are other drivers of change that indicate the time is right for renovation of the existing programs supporting Aboriginal economic development.
A new Treasury Board Policy and Directive on Transfer Payments came into effect on October 1, 2008 and applies to all federal government departmental activities in relation to transfer payment programs and transfer payments. The new policy and directive will result in administrative changes to departmental business processes, program terms and conditions and funding agreement requirements. INAC will be phasing in the new policy and directive by March 31, 2011.
Under the policy and directive, there are new requirements relating to the delivery of transfer payment programs, including: engagement of recipients, the feasibility of harmonizing (aligning or integrating) programs, feasibility of standardizing the processes, systems and procedures used in delivering programs, and establishment of service standards, performance measurement and risk management.
More information on the new Treasury Board Policy and Directive on Transfer Payments, including the expected impact on recipients, can be found in Annex B. Options for how best to incorporate the new requirements of the policy and directive into the renovated suite of Aboriginal economic development programs will be discussed with stakeholders and implemented as part of the overall program renovation process.
A new Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) was launched on August 18, 2009 to help build a stronger, sustainable and dynamic economy for Northerners and Aboriginal people, communities and businesses across the three territories. CanNor will play a role similar to that of other Regional Development Agencies across the country (e.g. economic development programming, coordination, advocacy), but tailored to the unique realities and needs of the North.
As the Agency delivers the Aboriginal business and community economic development programs in the territories, it will be a critical partner in the Aboriginal economic development program renovation process, including in providing support to engagement coordination.
A series of program audits and evaluations on the current suite of Aboriginal economic development programs have been conducted over the past five years. All recent program audits and evaluations have supported the continuation of existing programs, but have recommended key changes to various aspects of the programs.
Some of the key recommendations that will be considered for program renovation include:
A list of recent program audits and evaluations can be found in Annex C - Resources.
Emerging trends and significant evidence suggest that Aboriginal Canadians are poised to take an unprecedented step toward becoming full participants in the Canadian economy – as entrepreneurs, employers and employees.
While the Framework represents a modern approach to Aboriginal economic development, many of the programs offered by INAC have not kept pace with changing conditions and may no longer meet the current needs of Aboriginal Canadians. The primary goal of program renovation is to develop and advance, in partnership with stakeholders, innovative changes to existing programs that will make them more responsive to the needs of clients and better aligned with the overall Framework.
Through the development of the Framework, INAC has demonstrated a firm commitment to formally engaging stakeholders on major legislative, policy and program changes.
As part of the Framework engagement, a broad cross-section of stakeholders were invited to submit written views and to take part in national and regional engagement sessions convened across the country. Meetings were held in Halifax, Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Iqaluit and Montreal. Officials met over 40 national and regional Aboriginal organizations, provincial and territorial governments, as well as Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal private sector groups.
The National Aboriginal Economic Development Board, an arms-length, private-sector body representing the economic development interests of all Aboriginal people, also regularly provides advice and recommendations on Aboriginal economic development to the Government of Canada.
Through both the engagement process and an analysis of research, studies and evaluations that have been conducted over the past 10 years, a consensus has emerged on the principal barriers to Aboriginal economic development.
There is a pressing need to address barriers in the Indian Act and replace outdated regulations that impede economic development and investment, particularly on reserves.
The resolution of land claims and faster processes for additions to reserves are considered essential to economic progress. Government processes need to adapt to the speed of business.
The job-readiness of residents of Aboriginal communities is a pressing issue, particularly the need for improved literacy and essential skills development and industry-specific job training responsive to the needs of the private sector.
Lack of infrastructure is often a significant barrier to economic development and investments, particularly on reserves, and in northern, remote communities.
Improving communications and transportation is important to take advantage of economic development opportunities.
Limited access to commercial capital, particularly from financing and equity partnerships, inhibits the creation and growth of Aboriginal businesses.
Aboriginal businesses, political leaders and institutions require the tools and capacity to identify and pursue economic opportunities.
Improvements to community development programs and Aboriginal institutional arrangements are required, including support for long-term planning and ready access to expert advice.
While Aboriginal Canadians have provided much feedback to the Government of Canada through various engagements over the past few years, the engagement processes have focused on high-level concepts and recommendations have been more general in nature.
The purpose of engaging stakeholders again on program renovation is to obtain specific and detailed input on program renovation options for INAC's existing suite of programs that support Aboriginal economic development, including: land and environmental management, business development and community economic development.
From May to November 2010, INAC will be organizing a series of national and regional engagement sessions to obtain direct input on how programs may be renovated to better meet the needs of First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
The overall Engagement Plan includes:
First Nations, Inuit and Métis people across Canada face a diverse and complex range of circumstances, challenges, opportunities and needs. The disparity among Aboriginal people in Canada, including significant regional and sub-regional disparities, also means that many groups have differing interests in the Framework and future lands and economic development programming.
INAC will be engaging key stakeholders from each of the Aboriginal heritage groups to determine the unique needs of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people as they relate to economic development and business opportunities. To this end, INAC will also be engaging through established venues such as the Métis Economic Development Symposium and the National Economic Development Committee for Inuit Nunangat.
INAC will also be seeking input from stakeholders on the short-, medium- and long-term strategic outcomes to be achieved through the renovated programs and the indicators that will be used to evaluate the performance of these programs in supporting Aboriginal economic development.
INAC has developed a draft performance measurement strategy for the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development. A performance measurement strategy is the selection, development and ongoing use of performance measures to guide decision-making. A performance measurement strategy includes the regular collection of information to determine the progress of the policy, program or initiative in attaining its planned results and on performance trends over time, and in achieving its final outcomes. The range of information in a performance measurement strategy may include: reach; outputs and outcomes; performance indicators; data sources; methodology; and costs.
The Framework performance measurement strategy will be presented to all stakeholders for feedback during the engagement process and can be found in this Engagement Resource Kit. A corresponding performance measurement strategy will be created to guide the renovated programs that are developed from feedback obtained during the engagement process.
The Engagement Resource Kit was developed to facilitate participation from all stakeholders in the engagement process, as well as to prompt dialogue and guide discussion on program renovation options during the engagement sessions.
The kit contains an overall context-setting booklet that includes information on the Framework, program renovation and the engagement sessions, the existing suite of programs, a Glossary of Terms and a list of resources. The kit also includes supporting materials on the Framework and the Framework Performance Measurement Strategy.
Copies of this kit will be shared with all participants in the regional and national engagement sessions, as well as national Aboriginal organizations, associations and stakeholder groups.
In committing to a renovation of the existing suite of Aboriginal economic development programs, INAC has also committed to engaging Aboriginal Canadians and other stakeholders in the development of program renovation options and strategies to address barriers to the full participation of Aboriginal Canadians in the economy.
All of the input obtained during the engagement process will be captured by professional notetakers and carefully synthesized. This input will then inform the program renovation options that are considered in the renovation of Aboriginal lands, business and community economic development programs administered by INAC in the future.
Please forward your thoughts and ideas on how INAC's Aboriginal economic development programs may be renovated to better meet the needs of Aboriginal Canadians across Canada to:
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Terrasses de la Chaudière
10 Wellington, North Tower
You may also forward your views and comments to:
Phone: (toll free) 1-800-567-9604
TTY: (toll free) 1-866-553-0554
The Aboriginal population is growing rapidly and is relatively young. Census 2006 indicates that there are now over one million Aboriginal people in Canada, representing 4% of the Canadian population. Of this total, 53% are registered Indians, 30% are Métis, 11% are non-Status Indians and 4% are Inuit. Between 2001 and 2006, the population grew four times faster than that of non- Aboriginal Canadians. The Aboriginal median age is 26.5, compared to 39.7 for non-Aboriginals. As a result, it is estimated that over 600,000 Aboriginal youth will enter the labour market between 2001 and 2026.
According to Statistics Canada, the Aboriginal population is increasingly urban:
Share of Aboriginal Population Living in Urban Centres
Source: Census 2006, Statistics Canada
Nearly 70% of Métis live in urban areas, 60% of whom live in large urban areas. Over 40,000 Métis people live in Winnipeg; there are other major urban Métis populations in Edmonton, Vancouver, Calgary and Saskatoon.
According to the 2006 Census, Aboriginal education outcomes are improving, but 34% of Aboriginals have less than high school education (50% on reserve), compared to 15% of non-Aboriginals of the same age. The share of Aboriginal males without a high school diploma is higher than that of Aboriginal women. The number of Aboriginals (aged 25-64) with a university degree is 8%, compared to 23% in the non-Aboriginal population. Within the Aboriginal population, education attainment has been mixed:
Aboriginal Education Outcomes: 25 to 54 Year Olds
Source: Census 2006, Statistics Canada
Since 2001, the employment rates of Aboriginal people aged 25-64 has increased from 58% to 63% – still much lower than the non-Aboriginal rate of 76% – and the employment rate for Aboriginal women is less than that of Aboriginal men, due to their lower labour force activity. Unemployment rates for the same age group are still three times higher for Aboriginal peoples than for non-Aboriginal Canadians (13% vs. 5%), with the unemployment rate being higher for Aboriginal males. Among the Aboriginal population, the 2006 Census indicates the overall unemployment rate for Métis people converged to the rate of non-Aboriginal Canadians since 2001:
Unemployment Rates: 25 to 54 Year Olds
Source: Census 2001 and 2006, Statistics Canada
According to 2006 Census data, incomes of Aboriginal Canadians remain below the non- Aboriginal average – $23,889 compared to $35,872 for non-Aboriginal Canadians. Among the Aboriginal population, the First Nation identity population has the lowest average income ($20,940) and Métis have the highest average income ($28,226).
Average Individual Income of Population 15 Years Over
Source: Census 2006, Statistics Canada
As with the non-Aboriginal population, average incomes of Aboriginal women are lower than those of men. For all Aboriginal women, it was $20,908 in 2005, compared to $27,874 for non- Aboriginal women. Inuit women had the highest average incomes ($24,600), whereas First Nations women had the lowest ($19,440).
Within the 615 First Nations communities across Canada, 59% of these communities have fewer than 500 residents, though 332 communities are located within 100 kilometres of a city. However, 17% of Status Indians live in special-access areas and another 4% live in remote zones. In addition, there are 96 Aboriginal communities across the North. Of these 53 are Inuit. There are eight provincially-recognized Métis communities located in Alberta.
Firts Nations Communities by Population
Source: Indian Registry System, INAC
The community well-being index (CWBI) provides a snapshot of the specific conditions of Aboriginal communities across Canada. Eighteen Aboriginal communities have index scores greater or equal to the average score for non-Aboriginal communities. Moreover, of the 100 top-scoring Canadian communities, one is a First Nation community whereas 97 Aboriginal communities are ranked among the 100 lowest-ranking communities in Canada.
Aboriginal peoples in Canada have access to, own or have primary control over 65 million hectares of land based on different arrangements, representing 6.5% of Canada's land mass. The categories are:
The 2006 Census indicates that there are more than 34,000 self-employed Aboriginal people in Canada, over 12,000 of which are women. Moreover, according to the Survey of Financing of Small and Medium Enterprises (2007), 2.36% of Canada's SMEs are owned by Aboriginal people. The survey indicates Aboriginal-owned SMEs have a relatively stronger presence in the Agricultural/Primary sector, in rural areas and in British Columbia.
Share of Small and Medium-sized Entreprises Owned
by Aboriginal People by Sector
Source: Survey on Financing of Small and Medium Enterprises (2007), Statistics Canada
There are 59 Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) that provide developmental business financing and advice.
|The Old Policy||The New Policy|
Aboriginal Business Development Program (ABDP) (also known as Aboriginal Business Canada)
Access to Capital Program (ATC)
Contact InfoPubs@ainc-inac.gc.ca for more information
Community Economic Development
Community Support Services Program (CSSP)
Contact InfoPubs@ainc-inac.gc.ca for more information
Lands and Environmental Management
Contact InfoPubs@ainc-inac.gc.ca for more information
Community Economic Development
Lands and Environment Management
|ABDP||Aboriginal Business Development Program|
|AFI||Aboriginal Financial Institution|
|AHRDS||Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy|
|ASTSIF||Aboriginal Skills and Training Strategic Investment Fund|
|ATC||Access to Capital (Program)|
|AWPI||Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative|
|CAEDS||Canadian Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy|
|CAF||Community Adjustment Fund|
|CanNor||Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency|
|CEDP||Community Economic Development Program|
|CEOP||Community Economic Opportunities Program|
|CFO||Chief Financial Officer|
|CSIF||Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund|
|CSMP||Contaminated Sites Management Program|
|CSSP||Community Support Services Program|
|CWBI||Community Well-Being Index|
|IIA-CSMP||Indian and Inuit Affairs-Contaminated Sites Management Program|
|ILRS||Indian Land Registry System|
|ESA||Environmental Site Assessment|
|FAA||Financial Administration Act|
|FCC||Federal Coordination Committee|
|FCSAP||Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan|
|FIP||Financial Institutions Program|
|FNCIDA||First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act|
|FNLAB||First Nations Lands Advisory Board|
|FNLM||First Nations Land Management (Regime)|
|FNLMRC||First Nations Land Management Resource Centre|
|FNOGMMA||First Nations Oil and Gas and Moneys Management Act|
|The Framework||Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development|
|FTP||Federal Transfer Payments|
|HRSDC||Human Resources and Skills Development Canada|
|INAC||Indian and Northern Affairs Canada|
|LED||Lands and Economic Development (Sector)|
|LLR||Loan Loss Reserve (Initiative)|
|MRED||Major Resource and Energy Development (Investments Initiative)|
|MRIF||Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund|
|MRP||Matrimonial Real Property|
|NACCA||National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association|
|NAEDB||National Aboriginal Economic Development Board|
|NALMA||National Aboriginal Land Managers Association|
|NCSCS||National Classification System for Contaminated Sites|
|NEDCIN||National Economic Development Committee for Inuit Nunangat|
|PSAB||Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business|
|PTP||Policy on Transfer Payments|
|RLEMP||Reserve Land and Environment Management Program|
|SINED||Strategic Investments in Northern Economic Development|
|SMEs||Small and Medium Enterprises|
|TBS||Treasury Board Secretariat|