Lands and Economic Development
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) is helping Aboriginal communities get the most from their economic development potential by investing in community readiness, entrepreneurs and businesses, land management, and strategic partnerships. The Department is also removing legislative barriers to ensure large-scale projects on reserve promoted by First Nations can proceed.
These are the key elements of the Government's approach to Aboriginal economic development, as set by the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development (2009). The Framework signified a fundamental shift in the way Aboriginal economic development is now supported by the federal government to achieve:
- Aboriginal communities that are ready and able to seize economic development opportunities;
- viable Aboriginal businesses; and
- a skilled Aboriginal workforce.
Following extensive engagement with Aboriginal communities, the Department is also simplifying its programs so they more closely align with the Framework's economic development objectives—and the unique and changing needs of Aboriginal communities. In particular, INAC is responding to calls to reduce administrative burden and program duplication by:
- providing single-window access to programs;
- simplifying application procedures;
- allowing flexible funding approaches with multiple funding elements;
- integrating approval and assessment processes; and
- streamlining reporting requirements.
As a result, there are now five main Lands and Economic Development programs (effective April 1, 2014):
- Aboriginal Entrepreneurship
- Community Opportunity Readiness
- Contaminated Sites Management Program
- Lands and Economic Development Services
- Strategic Partnerships Initiative
This streamlined suite of programs is designed to increase the participation of Aboriginal communities in the Canadian economy and enable Aboriginal people to pursue new opportunities for employment, income, and wealth creation. In particular, the integration of land management with economic development will help the Department provide broader support as Aboriginal communities build their economic base.
Funding for these programs has not been changed; rather, the funds of combined programs have been added together within the new programs.
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