ARCHIVED - Renovating Programs in Support of Lands & Economic Development - Atlantic Region Engagement Session
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July 6-7, 2010
Halifax, Nova Scotia
This report was produced under contract with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) by a firm of independent conference content specialists whose responsibility was to capture and synthesize as accurately as possible the discussions from this engagement session. Opinions expressed are those of the individual participants cited and should not be considered as endorsed by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.
Table of Contents
- Stakeholder Engagement Reports
- Purpose of Meeting
- Welcome and Opening Remarks
- Context for Program Renovation and Engagement
- Atlantic Perspective on Lands and Economic Development
- Reflections on Current Programming: Summary of the Round Table Discussions—What is Working and What is Not Working
- Exploring Options for Financing Community Infrastructure
- Innovative Program Options—Lands and Economic Development
- Making Programs Work
- Measuring Success
- Closing Remarks
- List of Participants
Stakeholder Engagement Reports
Released in June 2009, the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development provides a new and comprehensive approach to Aboriginal economic development that reflects the significant, real and growing opportunities for Aboriginal people in Canada. The Framework provides for a focused, government-wide 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.
While the Framework represents a modern and strategic approach to Aboriginal economic development, several of the economic development programs delivered by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada have been in place for many years and need to be updated in order to be more responsive to the unique needs and opportunities of First Nations, Metis and Inuit.
In keeping with the Government of Canada's commitment to develop meaningful partnerships with stakeholders, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada organized a series of national and regional stakeholder engagement sessions to obtain input on how Aboriginal economic development programs may be renovated to better meet the needs of Aboriginal people across Canada.
These sessions took place from May to December 2010 and focused on obtaining input from individuals and organizations with direct experience in Aboriginal economic development. The process also focused on building and strengthening existing partnerships with all stakeholders and determining the unique needs and goals of First Nations, Metis and Inuit as they relate to economic development. In total, nineteen sessions took place reaching approximately 860 stakeholders.
All of the input obtained during the regional engagement sessions was captured by a firm of independent conference content specialists. The content specialists have carefully synthesized the feedback received from the Atlantic regional stakeholder engagement session and prepared this final report. The report captures the discussions from the Atlantic session including details regarding the aspects of programming that stakeholders consider to be working well, areas requiring improvement and key recommendations regarding priorities for funding and changes to program design and delivery.
The input provided by stakeholders, as detailed in the report, is now being used to inform program renovation options for the lands, business and community economic development programs administered by INAC.
Purpose of Meeting
The purpose of the meeting was to seek feedback from stakeholders in the Atlantic region on how programs may be changed to better meet the needs of clients, to align with the strategic objectives of the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, and to support overall efforts to increase the participation of Aboriginal Canadians in the economy.
Welcome and Opening Remarks
Regional Director General–Atlantic Region
Mr. Ian Gray welcomed participants and thanked Grand Chief Ben Sylliboy for his opening prayer. He introduced Assembly of First Nations Vice-Chief Rick Simon from the Union of New Brunswick Indians and John Paul from the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs Secretariat (APC). Mr. Gray thanked Allan Clarke and his team for their work with central agencies and cabinet and for getting the support of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) and the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.
"It's a critical time," Mr. Gray said. "This is our opportunity to have our input." Economic development is tied to education, and both are closely linked to social development and all aspects of life in a community.
Context for Program Renovation and Engagement
Director General, Policy and Coordination Branch
Lands and Economic Development
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada – Headquarters
Mr. Allan Clarke provided the context for program renovation and stakeholder engagement in support of lands and economic development. He said the purpose of the engagement sessions is to open a dialogue on economic development, to make sure that what INAC is doing makes sense and works for everyone involved. There is no limit on the input, he said; the intention is to hold an open and honest discussion.
By adopting the new Framework last year, the federal government indicated that it was moving forward in a different way, that economic development is important to the Aboriginal agenda, and that this is the beginning of something potentially exciting. Mr. Clarke said it is important to look at the relationships among all programs with outcomes that relate to economic development, like lands management and infrastructure. He said he wanted to talk about "how we got where we are now and where we are going," adding that there would be no constraints on thoughtful advice regarding where the Department should be going.
There have been dramatic changes in needs, conditions, challenges and opportunities of Aboriginals since the Canadian Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy (CAEDS) was developed in 1989, a decade before the Marshall decision. The Aboriginal economy, the Canadian economy and the global economy, and the relationship with the Crown have changed, and INAC must keep up with the changes, Mr. Clarke said. Interest on the part of the non-Aboriginal community in working with Aboriginal businesses must also be taken into account.
CAEDS set the stage for some of the things INAC is doing now, such as the three programming streams that are still being used to support: labour market development, business development, and community economic development. These remain important, Mr. Clarke said, but it is time to consider how they work in today's context.
The Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development proposed a vision to ensure Aboriginal Canadians have the same opportunities as other Canadians to participate in the economy. The Framework evokes some specific themes including opportunities, being responsive to new and changing conditions, leveraging partnerships, and focusing on results.
"It represents a fundamental change in how we intend to go about our business" that takes account of the differences among communities and regions and is "much more responsive to the needs that are on the ground," Mr. Clarke said.
The Framework was developed through consultation with people across the country, including many of the participants in the current engagement session. Now INAC needs to use that to shape its future work.
Mr. Clarke described the Framework's priorities:
- Strengthening Aboriginal entrepreneurship.
- Developing Aboriginal human capital.
- Enhancing the value of Aboriginal assets.
- Forging new partnerships.
- Focusing the role of the federal government.
Strengthening Aboriginal entrepreneurship must be seen in the context of broad conditions that affect people's ability to have successful businesses—the interdependencies that exist around economic development. Impediments include the Indian Act and other legislation that affects business on-reserve, as well as access to debt and equity. There are straightforward issues, such as access to capital, and more complex issues, such as how lands are managed.
However, the government does not have all the tools, funding and expertise, Mr. Clarke said. It needs partners, including non-Aboriginal business partners as well as all levels of government and the 20 different departments and agencies that have responsibility for policies and programs that affect Aboriginal Canadian interests and economic development.
In the 10 years since the Marshall decision there have been some significant gains, such as the greater access to fisheries, yet the government must still take a more coherent and strategic approach. Mr. Clarke said the new Framework opens a dialogue, and program renewal is key to moving forward. In consultations across Canada, building capacity has been an almost-unanimous first choice as a priority.
Sustainable economic development is not compatible with the "one-size-fits-all or first-come/first-served" approaches that we have been taking to program delivery, Mr. Clarke said. It requires the creative thinking of a wide range of people that will consider the interdependencies of lands, resources, people, and infrastructure, laws and regulations, fiscal relationships, capacity, governance and investments and efforts to activate the economic base and make all the elements work.
"If you don't have a climate that attracts business and investment, you're not going to be moving forward on economic development," he said. The programs must work within the vision of the federal Framework and bring together all of the elements that support economic development. The federal government's role has to be clear and coherent; the government must do what it is best equipped to do, in a way that is consistent with the rules of the Treasury Board for managing contributions and grants.
Mr. Clarke said INAC must move from its old-fashioned approach to a more client-centred approach. For example, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency differentiates the needs of programs in the north from those in the south of Canada.
Evaluations and audits over the years have suggested changes that should be made, and programs have to fit the needs of clients. INAC must understand what is working and what should change and how. The department manages the Aboriginal business development programs, the lands and environmental management programs, and community economic development programs. Mr. Clarke asked how, at its broadest level, INAC can best use the whole of the $200 million funding for these programs to align programs with opportunities and priorities.
Mr. Clarke said INAC has set out the following principles to guide program renewal:
- Open up and tell people where the department is coming from.
- Build on successes, such as the work of the community of Membertou, and the successes in the Atlantic fishery.
- Collect data and information to allow programs to report on tangible successes.
- Find ways to measure success.
- Recognize and respond to the different needs of stakeholders.
- Allocate funds in ways that support economic development.
- Align the supports for economic development with economic development outcomes.
- Work to build the capacity of individuals, entrepreneurs, businesses, and communities.
- Support communities in setting up new partnerships; make sure communities have the capacity to work with new partners, and "make sure we have a level playing field when corporate Canada comes knocking."
A year and a half ago, the government consulted on the new Framework with about 700 individuals across Canada, invited input from organizations, and asked for reports and advice from anyone who wanted to talk about economic development. The Standing Senate Committee on Aboriginal Affairs also prepared a report that helped shape the government's approach.
Now at this stage of the process, the government is looking for more detail, Mr. Clarke said. Nine engagement sessions, including this one, are to be held across the country, and there will also be consultations based on themes, including urban, the North, and gender, as well as considerations flowing from audits and evaluations. The government is looking for input from other organizations, such as the APC Secretariat, and is holding targeted sessions with key stakeholders, as well as working with the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board. "There is nothing that is not on the table," he added.
Mr. Clarke listed the key themes for this work:
- How do we align with strategic outcomes?
- What performance measures do we use?
- How do communities measure success?
- What performance indicators should we be using to determine how well we are doing?
- Are we meeting our objectives?
- What program and service delivery standards are needed?
- Which aspects of current programs are working well and which can be improved?
- How do we make linkages across existing programs?
- Are the relationships between lands and economic development being promoted as well as they could be?
- What is working, what is not, and what are the things we could be building on?
- Are the funding arrangements appropriate for our clients and for INAC?
- How should reporting work to measure success?
- What could we be doing better around capacity development?
- What should our funding priorities be to make the best use of the money we do have?
- What are the priorities beyond funding, such as land and resource management, access to capital, and other things that enable development?
- How well is the suite of economic institutions that support First Nations economic development working?
- How do we use infrastructure as an economic enabler?
- How do we make all the relationships work across all the elements?
These engagement sessions will end by November 2010. INAC's website indicates how people can contact the department. There will be follow-up, and then INAC will look at how to implement changes and what kind of transition is needed. "Nothing is not on the table," Mr. Clarke repeated.
In answer to questions about funding for programs, Mr. Clarke said there are no indications that there would be cuts or changes to the current funding level and that the $200 million will continue to be part of a four-year commitment. The funding for 2010 includes the money in Budget 2008.
Atlantic Perspective on Lands and Economic Development
John G. Paul
Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs Secretariat
Mr. John Paul provided a community perspective on the current suite of programs that support Aboriginal economic development and talked about how efforts had been helped or hindered by them.
"The important part about the framework is 'What do you do with it?'" Mr. Paul said. Atlantic Canada has looked at how to deal with the framework on the ground, with the communities, the business sector, Aboriginal Business Canada, the private sector, and people who work with housing and capital. It is time to get everybody engaged in a process that will create wealth, jobs, and economic opportunities and to look at how that benefits communities in the end. Mr. Paul said sometimes confusion leads people to ask how the community fits the program. The better question is to ask how the program benefits the community.
Each community is different in its governance, its management, its opportunities, and the results it achieves in economic development. Mr. Paul told participants it is important to ask how the framework makes sense to them. The money adds up to $4 million in the Atlantic region.
"We know what our assets are," but what is unique in Atlantic Canada is that a few years ago the chiefs came up with their own strategy. They decided to work with the economic development officers (EDOs) and staff and communities to set priorities, decide on the results they wanted, and figure out a way to track results and progress.
"We can't just spend whatever money we're spending to keep the wheels going," Mr. Paul said. "That's 20 years ago." Rather, the communities need to decide where they want to go in the future, and that is tied to things like self-government, lands and resources, negotiations, the growing population of young people, and what is happening in the university centres and the employment market, "because nowadays you need a degree to pump gas in some places. You need to be high-tech."
Everyone has seen the successes in the region, Mr. Paul said: an airline, the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre, and the Days Inn in Oromocto. Those have created real revenue in their communities and have made a difference.
First Nation communities must think about where they want to go, on- and off-reserve, Mr. Paul said. Creating on-reserve economies is not enough: "We need self-sufficient communities, both on- and off-reserve," to move from being dependent on government to independent. He talked about the resource of First Nation young people and the need to create an educated and skilled workforce, with people following careers and doing real jobs that make sense, on- and off-reserve.
First Nations must look at diversifying from gas and bingo to become "vertically integrated in what the Atlantic economy is doing and where the Atlantic economy is going," he said. They also need parity of employment. For example, Halifax Regional Municipality employs no First Nation people even though there are many jobs; and Mr. Paul said he knows of one First Nation person working at the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation—"That's one out of 1,200 employees."
There is a correlation between education and health: the higher a person's education, the better their health, Mr. Paul said. First Nation communities have many serious problems and issues, but if the fundamental issues of poverty are addressed by giving people a chance to move beyond social assistance, "we'll go a great way in terms of creating a future."
Mr. Paul said that the Atlantic chiefs had laid out the following goals:
- Develop property and resources anywhere in Atlantic Canada.
- Strengthen Aboriginal business and try to support Aboriginal businesses rather than having everyone work for the First Nation governments.
- Develop a skilled Aboriginal workforce. For example, in fisheries, over the last 10 years, First Nations have created 1,400 jobs that will be there in the future.
- Access the money in the province that is set aside for business development, and participate in those opportunities.
First Nations need to develop a sound baseline of information and a way to collect it, so that "we know whether we're sinking or floating or progressing." Mr. Paul asked how many Aboriginal jobs First Nations got out of the Atlantic Gateway, the nuclear power plant in New Brunswick, or the aerospace industry. The universities also have opportunities for jobs. First Nations need a regional development corporation, Mr. Paul said, adding that Ulnooweg Development Group is developing its own capacity, but other things are needed to support where Atlantic First Nations are going.
The region has done a lot over the last year, Mr. Paul said, "but in terms of Aboriginal business, it's about increasing the numbers." The amount of tax revenue from non-Aboriginal people working at places like the Days Inn Oromocto is significant, and First Nations must find a way to get that back. The region has to look at procurement that creates business and creates jobs and wealth.
Mr. Paul said Ulnooweg is trying to access larger equity pools, to set up a way to borrow money over the long term at a good rate. In addition, a way to coordinate efforts to allow the Atlantic region to match people with opportunities, such as in the knowledge economy and other new wave sectors, is needed.
The critical factors are how to market First Nation people, how to create opportunities wherever they want to go, and how to support them—how to set up a systematic way across the region to find the best people for the jobs that exist.
At a 2009 conference, people from the private sector talked about how to build relationships with First Nations in the region, Mr. Paul said. Part of the goal was to take away the fear of non-Aboriginal people coming to Aboriginal communities to do business.
Everyone should understand the plan that has been developed for the region, Mr. Paul said. The goals are about finding partnerships that produce wealth, jobs, and opportunities and using what the region has to create other opportunities, "whether it's things we own or land or anything." First Nations must decide which sectors they want to grow in, he said.
"This year we took a hit in the snow crab. . .a 63% cut." Such issues will always exist, so First Nation communities must create the diversity that will let them survive and move on. Creating prosperity in a community means that people have the independence to do what they want. Many young people are independent thinkers, but the communities have to find ways to support those who want to get training and become certified.
In their strategy paper, the APC passed a resolution calling for the funding for the Community Economic Development Program to be revisited to allow each community to hire at minimum one full-time, skilled, trained EDO. Mr. Paul said a band would not be able to operate without a band manager and a director of finance, and the same principle applies to having an EDO, someone who can "champion the issues of economic development." The cost for an EDO who will do all the things in the strategy is $70,000. If First Nations are serious about building capacity, Paul said, "We have to invest in it," putting the needs of people first, and then programs.
The chiefs also passed a resolution to develop a community-based impact project. Communities must be able to show what they are doing in order to convince others to be a partner and to work with them. The powwow and all those demonstrations on the Halifax Commons mean that 70,000 people now know about and potentially support what is going on in First Nation communities "and know that they are not going to get mugged if they go there," Mr. Paul said. The communities are home, and people want better for all their communities. This is part of building on what people are doing well. "We need to tell our stories better, and this position paper talks about what we need to do."
However, Mr. Paul said, First Nations are always worried that funding will be cut if they are doing well. One of the most important things the region has been trying to do is to get out of the social section of the newspaper and into the business section, with articles like the July 6 piece in The Chronicle Herald, "Aboriginal youth key to filling labour gap." A piece in the business section "creates a different perspective on the stories," he said. To get into the business section, First Nations need to involve communities developing their own plans, which is difficult if they "have to take from Peter to pay Paul" to do something over the long term rather than just meeting short-term requirements. In the past, community planning never got linked to money, he said.
In this region, the Regional Program Management Advisory Committee (RPMAC) has been important to the kinds of strategies the Atlantic chiefs are trying to pursue. The priorities are based on projects that they look at over a long time. Communities need to hook together at the levels of community, sub-regions, and regions to make better links between what First Nation communities are doing and how that connects to a regional target.
Mr. Paul said universities do not know what research needs to be done with First Nations, but the 11 universities in Atlantic Canada are involved in a research project now that will help shape their future research agendas so that they can use their capacity and expertise to do research that makes sense to the communities and produce information that people can do something with, rather than having individual researchers continue to "study Indians." Research must have credible value to First Nation people, chiefs, leaders and EDOs, he said.
Work that was started two or three years ago is now paying off, Mr. Paul said. Communities have taken ideas that were developed in the strategy sessions and have implemented them. The framework is there, and, like it or not, First Nations must determine how to apply it so that Aboriginal people are happy and the government is happy.
"Otherwise, we'll get caught in the same old thing," Mr. Paul said. "We need to figure out what to do to create the opportunities so that those young people in all our communities have real opportunities for training, employment, and business."
Reflections on Current Programming: Summary of the Round Table Discussions—What is Working and What is Not Working
Participants gathered around eight tables to talk about the current suite of INAC programs that support economic development among First Nation people.
Elements of programs that are working
Participants identified the following as elements of programs that are working:
- Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers certification for EDOs, which offers good training and should be a minimum requirement for all EDOs.
- RPMAC, for the following reasons:
- It allows the INAC programs as a whole to be more effective.
- It allows people to learn about and gain access to INAC programs.
- It fosters good working relationships among community economic development projects that go though both RPMAC and the Community Support Services Program (CSSP).
- The relationship between INAC staff in the region and the EDOs and the chiefs who participate in RPMAC.
- The Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Developers Network, which allows EDOs to share assets and to gather and share information about INAC programs.
- Revenue streams available to the few larger communities that have allowed them enough capital to keep developing their economies.
- The procurement strategy, which offers some models that are working well and should be built on, such as Nova Scotia projects in the aerospace sector.
- The Marshall decision of 10 years ago, which led to decisions that gave the Mi'kmaq the right to earn a moderate livelihood through fishing to in turn create a meaningful economy.
Elements of programs that are not working
In general, programs do not address the main fundamental issue, which is the lack of lands and resources; instead, they focus on "addressing the symptoms of a dysfunctional economy." Participants identified the following as elements of programs that are not working:
- Few people know about many of INAC's programs, including people at fairly high levels in the communities.
- The Loan Loss Reserve (LLR)—offers money to banks and other players in the mainstream economy to encourage lending to reserves. Little if any of that money has been used, while at the same time the Network of Aboriginal Businesses gets none of that money and has loaned over $100 million to Aboriginal communities, $3.5 million of that in the Atlantic region.
- Community Economic Development Program (CEDP) has inadequate funding, and programs have these problems:
- Per capita funding is inadequate in many smaller communities.
- The first-come, first-served funding leads to arbitrary decisions.
- Communities "jump through hoops to apply when there's no money left."
- Program funding does not follow the speed of business.
- Funded communities need more mentoring and support.
- EDOs are often not qualified.
- Funds should offer multi-year funding.
- Aboriginal Business Development programs should address several issues:
- Reports ask for too much irrelevant detail.
- Reports ask for too little detail about where the money is going.
- Information that is reported is rolled into an annual report and offers little help to communities looking for information on how programs have worked.
- There is no way to measure results.
- There is no access to major development opportunities in areas like oil and gas and wind power.
Participants offered the following recommendations:
- Link CEDP money to hiring an EDO.
- Have all programs go through RPMAC.
- Develop a way to measure success for all programs.
- Look at how communities in Western Canada work with the procurement strategies and apply some of their strategies in Atlantic Canada.
- Set aside procurements to go to Aboriginal entrepreneurs and individuals.
- Give First Nations in the Atlantic region access to legal funding to fight for lands and resources, particularly lands that have never been ceded.
- Revisit the principles that came from the Marshall decision, particularly around the right to a "moderate livelihood."
Exploring Options for Financing Community Infrastructure
Director of Policy, Infrastructure Branch
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada - Headquarters
- Mr. Labelle said it is time to look at how funding for infrastructure could be better used to also support economic development. He said that this series of engagement sessions on infrastructure is the first phase of discussions around infrastructure financing and is much earlier in the process than the Aboriginal economic development programs engagement. The intent is not to impose solutions but to look at best practices and ideas that work today.
- The Community Infrastructure Branch is looking to support what is working and to look for pilot programs to test innovative approaches. For instance, a community may pay for infrastructure in a variety of ways, not just through INAC funding, but also the private sector, banks, partnerships, and user fees.
- INAC's Infrastructure program, the Capital Facilities and Maintenance Program does not currently work on economic development, Mr. Labelle said. Health and safety are first priority in dealing with, for example, "a water plant versus a business park." The Program provides approximately $1.2 billion a year, and its priorities are schools, water plants, and housing. The amount is "not much when compared to the need," Mr. Labelle said, and maintaining assets takes a good part of the money, leaving about 37% for new spending, a percentage that diminishes every year. He said that unlike local governments, all funding is currently on a cash basis, funded at time of construction, and there are better ways to pay for infrastructure to get better results. Something like a water treatment plant gives the community an asset, and that asset is a good one if it does two things—lasts the 40 years it is supposed to last and is paid for by the end of its life. The question is how to bridge gaps in capacity to make this happen, he said.
- There is an infrastructure backlog of about $3 billion to $5 billion, and plans exceed funds by about $1 billion, which means that simply more money will not be enough.
- These are some of the problems, he said:
- Funding as it is now is unsustainable.
- Infrastructure is costly, and things do not seem to last as long as they should.
- The model is still one size fits all, and the department is very interested in moving away from that.
- High-need communities go to the front of the queue, which means funding is unpredictable.
- On-reserve communities can look at municipalities as a model for infrastructure management and financing. It is time to expand the tool kit with new options like those used by local governments, such as market-based financing, user fees, and alternative financing institutions.
- The issue is how to leverage funding to get more for the existing money. Some options include:
- Establishing stable revenue streams for community, including through user fees or long-term agreements with INAC for stable formula funding that can be leveraged through loans.
- Loan guarantees for planned projects where INAC agrees to pay principal and the community pays the interest.
- Public-Private Partnerships.
- INAC assistance for First Nations accessing financing through loan-guarantees or other types of support.
- Helping small communities in working together on infrastructure.
- General capacity support on infrastructure financing and asset management.
- Mr. Labelle cautioned that not all tools would work for all communities. INAC will continue to look for innovative new options and pilot projects and is eager to hear from First Nations, he said. The engagement on infrastructure financing will continue into the fall with regional sessions and discussion with groups including the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board and the AFN.
How INAC and Communities Can Support Infrastructure
- The groups were asked to discuss and report back on the issues around infrastructure and options that would work in Atlantic communities.
- Participants said the options outlined for getting funding outside of INAC's programs should be in place now, and any work around infrastructure should begin with a capital requirements inventory.
- Participants raised the issue of borrowing money. Many communities have borrowed money, and that number is increasing by about 9% each year, but other communities have not been able to borrow money. It was noted that the federal government does pay all costs for infrastructure in national parks and on military bases.
- One community borrowed money from Peace Hills Trust, a large First Nation financial institute that offers a range of financial services. The arrangements have apparently worked well, and the community has borrowed money for everything from fire trucks to housing to paving roads.
- Another community was able to use INAC funding to leverage money from the Canada-New Brunswick Cooperation Agreement. Other provinces also have federal-provincial agreements.
- Participants offered suggestions for supports that INAC could develop to help communities access alternative financing.
- Participants said more useful options include the following:
- A tax-free investment vehicle—this could give investors tax credits, tax-free interest, and other dividends.
- A tariff-free zone for First Nations, as a collective, independent of government—This would open the door to international markets, developing a broader exchange area, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and the European Union.
- The First Nations Finance Authority (FNFA)—Communities can borrow from FNFA based on the level of revenue from a community's tax base. Millbrook First Nation is a member and may be the only community in Atlantic Canada that has land set aside for tax revenues and that can demonstrate a high enough financial ability to meet the strict, restrictive criteria. Having their own source of revenue is becoming more important to communities.
- Commercial funding for homes—INAC could provide infrastructure funding to leverage funds. Communities should hold one third of the funds in reserve for emergencies. INAC must first conduct an inventory of capital requirements for communities over the next 5 to 10 years.
- Fisheries and forestry were mentioned as sources of money for infrastructure.
- Rental—Millbrook First Nation has done some of this through businesses.
- The model of the Innu Nation in Labrador—Communities in the North have more access to support to find funding.
- Federal-provincial cooperation agreements have proven useful.
- Provincial funding—INAC could pressure the provinces to set aside the amount of equalization payments from the federal government that is given based on First Nations population and give it to First Nations to use for infrastructure. However, participants were clear that INAC must not download its responsibilities to the provinces.
- Projects that generate revenue and protect against future shortfalls should be looked at. For example, a commerce centre in one community not only generates revenue but also has attracted non-First Nation tenants.
- Some options were considered to be less useful by some participants, including these:
- User fees—Chiefs and Councils could not survive if they tried to tax their communities and charge user fees.
- Public-private partnerships—these were tried for schools in Atlantic and all the benefits went to the private partner.
- Lending based on collateral—Remote communities have a hard time finding a willing lender for many reasons including lack of collateral. One community used new housing as collateral to borrow money and then had trouble paying back the 25% it still owed for the housing. This community cautioned that using existing infrastructure as collateral can restrict other kinds of development.
- Partnerships—are limited, especially in remote communities. Infrastructure comes with liability issues. A road has to be plowed and maintained, for example.
- Bank financing—Banks are not interested in infrastructure, only in business development.
- Participants recommended the following strategies for financing infrastructure:
- Use base funding and then supplemental long-term funding that is based on an assessment of the infrastructure needs. This would help communities make use of other funding tools, which is especially important in Atlantic Canada where the funding base is small.
- Fund based on projects rather than using a per capita model. For example, projects from Health Canada are given a set amount of money to carry out a particular program regardless of population.
- Get rid of third-party funding as a model, so that communities can use their funding to access more funding. Acknowledge that land ownership is an important part of the process and that additions to reserve can lead to a whole series of barriers that create a liability for a long time before they become productive.
- Offer training to EDOs, Chiefs and other community leaders, and members of the communities on infrastructure financing. The leadership particularly needs this knowledge "to get everyone singing from the same page," a participant said. The training should include information on the following:
- What funds exist and how to use them.
- How to borrow money and where to look for it.
- How to establish relationships with lenders.
- How to access INAC and other government funds to build infrastructure.
- There is a need to develop expertise within INAC on other models for funding, such as bond markets.
- Follow these guidelines when funding infrastructure:
- Base funding on assessment plus need.
- Make seed funding available quickly enough to take advantage of other funding opportunities.
- Stretch funding over the length of the project.
- Consider the environment.
- Support financing for communities that are not in a position to borrow money.
- Work horizontally with other government departments to bring projects together.
- Support the transition as communities move away from being dependent on funding.
- Make sure the liability does not go beyond the life of the project.
- Make sure projects are transparent, particularly for funders.
Innovative Program Options—Lands and Economic Development
Director General, Policy and Coordination Branch
Lands and Economic Development
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada – Headquarters
After 20 years of staying the same, all programs are now open to discussion. Mr. Clarke said the changes INAC is inviting range from small to fundamental, and the department wants "to really encourage some outside-the-box thinking when it comes to the programs." The exercise is about keeping what works and changing what does not, and through these engagement sessions and other consultations, INAC is inviting input from all stakeholders.
Participants were invited to look at INAC's programs and beyond them to identify what works, what does not work, and what other possibilities exist.
Elements of the programs that are working
Participants identified the following as useful, with some reservations:
- The position of EDO, which in general should be more accountable and have tighter guidelines.
- First Nations Land Management (FNLM).
- The Reserve Land and Environment Management Program (RLEMP), which should be better executed.
- The National Aboriginal Capital Corporation Association.
- The Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business (PSAB), which is tough to get into but good if there happens to be a good fit.
- The old Opportunities Fund, which effectively addressed different capacities.
- The Major Resource and Energy Development (MRED) Investments Initiative, which works as a quasi-venture capital fund with a more rigorous application process and broadens the horizons.
Participants said CEDP should be flexible enough to accommodate a project as it develops, adapts to changes, and requires a better report structure, and must provide enough funding to hire and support an EDO.
They said land set aside for commercial development is useful because it allows leases, attracts corporate investors, and removes the government and band politics that could affect property and business by giving tenants the protection of Canadian law. Also, corporations can be locked into leases that provide bands with revenues.
New or changed programs that could address barriers
A participant said it is time to move "from making jobs to looking at how we can build wealth in our communities and wealth in our regions." He said people are looking for meaningful work with proper training, adding, "Money to make a contribution to our people, that's what we hope the difference will be."
Participants identified several ways programs could address barriers to economic development:
- Find ways to build capacity within communities for pursuing economic development, including understanding contracts and how to negotiate them.
- Have programs act at the speed of business so that communities can take advantage of business partnerships and other opportunities. Make sure the funding is flexible enough to give a program time to develop. Programs need seed money at the start in order to act on good ideas.
- Look at papers and studies that have been done by First Nations and implement the recommendations.
- Separate politics from administering programs.
- Recognize, understand, and build on success in designing programs. Programs that do not work should not continue to be funded. Planning is a key gap at the moment.
- Create stronger links at all levels between lands and economic development.
- Let people know what programs exist and how they work, "having the programs explained by people who have successfully used the programs." Offer a simple, on-line walk-through of the program options that are available.
- Make sure INAC programs complement other government programs, especially Human Resources and Skills Development Canada programs.
- Develop simplified and rationalized program streams rather than having "small, segmented bits and pieces that don't necessarily connect well together."
- Use a one-window approach to give people access to programs. This is especially useful for entrepreneurs who are looking for one option that works.
- Streamline reporting and keep better track of reports that are submitted: many have been lost.
- Enlarge the budget for Aboriginal Business Development programs.
- Have all communities follow a similar process for applying, getting approved, and being evaluated.
- Develop sector-based funding.
- Develop programs for individual entrepreneurs.
- Support people working off-reserve.
- Use networking and getting the right people in the room, including, as one participant said, "faces people thought they would see at this event who are not here.".
- Get away from programs developed in Ottawa and adapt programs to the needs of the region. Model the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).
- Align the priorities for the region by looking at all of the work plans, and make them known.
- Look at other provinces for programs. For example, New Brunswick gives a percentage of the Harmonized Sales Tax money from tobacco—not necessarily gas—to 7 out of the 15 reserves in the province.
- De-silo First Nations and their organizations through mechanisms like regional development corporations, or at least integrate and align program authorities so that they do not exclude this.
Ways that renovated programs could support differing capacities
Participants identified ways that programs could support the different capacities of different communities:
- Use multi-year funding. This allows for projects not only to plan ahead but also to build the capacity of a position. For higher-risk programs, set the group up with exit points. This type of set-up could help with planning.
- Use a results-based model for programs to respond to the different needs of different First Nations. Make sure the program money goes to economic development.
- Develop a risk-based component to funding. This allows programs to deal with emergencies and also gives them the ability to respond to unexpected offers such as a new partnership.
- Offer human resources support for band and organization employees, so that they can get training, keep up with new developments, upgrade their skills, and move on to better jobs.
- Renew the Marshall response in the Atlantic region.
- Help reserves to benefit from tax revenues for businesses that serve isolated communities such as Natuashish. There, outside interests are running such things as the airstrip and cable television. First Nations should be getting tax revenue from these businesses. Further to this, participants said that when the reserve moved from Davis Inlet, it left behind steel buildings and other assets. INAC was supposed to decommission Davis Inlet, and Natuashish could use some of the steel buildings that have been left to decay.
- Speed up the Additions to Reserves (ATR) process. It takes over two years even for a plot adjacent to a reserve. One participant gave the example of a plot of land near Halifax that was to become part of the Indian Brook reserve. After holdups for over 40 years, the agreement ran out and had to be redone. Indian Brook lost income and economic development potential for all those years. If there had been a penalty for getting in the way of progress, INAC would have acted. Also, participants said, section 36 of the Indian Act says that as long as the land is set aside for the use and benefit of Indians, it should be considered to be a reserve and should not be taxed.
Making Programs Work
Director General, Policy and Coordination Branch
Lands and Economic Development
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada – Headquarters
Mr. Clarke said the principal objective of the consultation sessions is to make sure INAC's programs are working for both INAC and its clients in ways that are useful and relevant. The work has to align with the objectives of the Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development and be responsive to the needs for funding and to the changes that must take place. Mr. Clarke commended the APC strategies outlined by John Paul, such as combining base funding and adjusted funding for some programs. Assuming there is no increase in the available funding, Mr. Clarke asked what the priorities are and how the formulae could be changed to better support the needs and opportunities of communities.
Mr. Clarke said the breakout sessions would also look at timely decision making: "People don't get answers as quickly as they could or want," nor do they get reimbursed in a timely way for money they have spent. The questions for the breakout sessions deal with service standards and also with how programs can be combined or linked to better support economic development.
Priorities for funding within the current budget
"A lot of these questions are better suited to band managers, who really know where the money goes," said one participant. Only a few participants knew what RLEMP programs are, and participants said INAC changed programs constantly without letting people know about the changes, which means that applying for funding is hit and miss.
Participants outlined the following priorities:
- EDOs in the Atlantic region should all get together, along with the band managers, to look at what is available for economic development and where funds will do the most good. These plans should then go to band councils for approval. This would help overcome barriers within First Nations and would help avoid both duplication and the involvement of too many agencies.
- It is time to start looking seriously at building capacity within First Nations. This started to happen in 1976, but INAC has put up roadblocks that slowed it down. Give First Nations the responsibility to take over programs and show results.
- First Nation communities must assess their own needs. This process began with a three-year pilot project through INAC, but funding was pulled halfway through the pilot.
- Each First Nation must have an EDO, as was happening in the 1970s, with these supports:
- Fully funded to allow for job security so that EDOs will stay, and offering a chance to develop skills.
- Dedicated to economic development only.
- With the power to set priorities.
- With support for the position, including training and benefits.
Participants highlighted specifically three papers by the APC: Atlantic Aboriginal Economy Building Strategy, CEDP Position Paper, and Community Based Project Impacts Study (CBPIS) Position Paper.
Ways to support the differing needs and opportunities of communities
Participants offered suggestions for how to make funding more responsive to the needs of those applying:
- INAC should follow a model such as ACOA, where regional development agencies have some overall goals, but regional priorities for funding are determined with stakeholders. This would help equalize the capacity of reserves for vision and gaining expertise for conducting business.
- Given INAC's national budget of $9 billion to $10 billion annually, more than $200 million should be spent on economic development.
- Funding programs must involve less red tape, make money available more quickly, and move away from being population based to use these elements:
- Base funding on the proposal.
- Begin with a base level of funding.
- Use targeted funding.
- Use multi-year funding options.
- Include seed money that is available quickly.
- Use a reporting process that is streamlined and that reflects the funding level and priorities of the project.
- The application process must be streamlined, and applicants need to know when they apply for a program how much money is available. For example, a community that applied for Community Economic Opportunities Program funding in the fall of 2009 is still answering questions in July 2010. Finally, the applicants were told they would have to go to Ottawa for approval because the amount they are applying for is over the approval limit for the region.
- With its programs, INAC must support the movement of communities toward economic independence. Participants made several suggestions for doing this:
- Give communities access to a database of suitable business partners.
- Give all communities a base level of funding, and define the base level rather than simply dividing up the money available to the region. Clearly, some consideration must be given to the size of the population.
- Help applicants to leverage funds across the government.
- Reflect the needs of different regions in responding to applications. For example, land is a big issue in Atlantic Canada but may be less so in western regions.
- Reward success, particularly for projects that use money in ways that let it grow.
- Support timely decision making. Working at the speed of business was defined as operating within the standards of business or industry and working together with straight answers.
- Have someone from INAC go through the contract when it begins.
- Find a way to make INAC staff more consistent in the service and the messages they give. On all sides, make sure the people who make decisions are good, qualified individuals. Make it possible for regional staff to get decisions made.
- Give people at INAC who are administering programs the ability to make decisions. Make sure there is always someone available who can make a decision.
- Take the lead from Aboriginal business people who understand the banking institution mindset.
- Make it easier to work across government departments.
- Streamline communications between Ottawa and the Atlantic region within INAC.
- Give the region enough money to make the programs work.
- Accept a proposal or turn it down, but do not delay it by picking it apart, such as asking for travel details that would happen if funding is granted.
Support for timely decision making—working at the speed of business
Participants identified the following problems that arise when funding is slow to come:
- When decisions are slow and a project has several potential funders, a vicious circle is set up where each agency wants to have confirmation that the others are in, and no one will act.
- By the time a project is approved, half the life of the project is gone. The project is then criticized because all the goals are not met by March 31.
- Hold-ups often come from "nit picking—nickel and diming the project to death."
- Communities are not able to respond to opportunities when they come up, which means they not only lose out on that opportunity but also will be passed over in future.
Key elements of program service standards
Participants outlined a number of service standard elements that should be in place:
- Set the timeline, the deadlines for having each decision, and a clear process before a project begins, and make these public. Make INAC accountable for meeting deadlines in the same way that communities are accountable to INAC—such as for turning in invoices.
- Develop a consistent process within INAC and quality standards for applications. Set up a more streamlined process for smaller projects.
- Support good standards by having qualified EDOs in all communities. All applications go through the EDO unless the chief or the council is identified in advance as the contact.
- Make a decision on most projects within one month to six weeks. However, times will vary according to the complexity of the project. For example, RPMAC may take longer because it is a national assessment process that is quite detailed and involves back and forth questions.
- Develop a way to fast-track projects that are time-sensitive.
- Complete land transactions within two years.
- Assess the merits of a project based on risk, particularly for groups with a proven track record. INAC does not need all of the details on how money will be spent to make the decision.
- Assess proposals based on their merits, not first-come, first-served.
- Set clear standards up front, and measure projects against those standards.
- Track applications using accurate, useful information.
- Review the role of each level of government that is now involved in making decisions and choose the ones that are needed.
- Review capital projects over $10 million and approve them through INAC's federal headquarters.
- Use ACOA's fast, streamlined process as a model.
- Base the rules and regulations on the project, the level of funding, and the level of risk. For example, to approve a project, INAC does not need to know how many trips an officer will take and who he or she will talk to.
- Communicate better about when a fund is closed and when there might be opportunities for year-end money.
Ways to combine existing programs
Participants said this process should begin with setting up internal controls at INAC to monitor linkages between programs. This would show what programs can be combined and suggest ways to set up links with other departments.
Participants offered the following guidelines for making changes:
- Make sure the changes that happen, happen for good reason.
- Reduce the number of programs—but not to a single program.
- Avoid shrinking the budget while creating new programs.
- Clearly publish information about the programs that are created, and give EDOs a manual so that they understand the programs.
- Share best practices for the programs once they are set up, using a common source where people can go to see what others are doing and how it works.
Upgrade communication with the new programs, following these guidelines:
- Have a real-time person to answer questions from First Nations.
- Put a computer in every office.
- Set up some sort of virtual connection, using Skype, BlackBerry, or instant messaging, for example.
- Do a pilot in Atlantic Canada. An example of how communication breaks down is the registration for this conference, which was supposed to be set up by last June and is a year late.
- Use a one-table approach for funding sources where all the relevant federal and provincial agencies sit down together and sort out the project funding in one go.
- Combine the Aboriginal Workforce Participation Initiative with another program.
- Rationalize the Aboriginal Business Canada, community development, and lands programs to create fewer programs.
Stan Wesley / Terence Wade
Director General, Policy and Coordination Branch
Lands and Economic Development
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada – Headquarters
The challenge for INAC is "being able to tell a performance story that makes sense," said Mr. Clarke. In the new Framework, the government talks about closing the gap between Aboriginal Canadians and other Canadians. Aboriginal communities have made progress in the last 10–15 years in income, participation in the labour market, and employment, "but the gap persists," he said, which leads to the question of how to make programs support the vision. INAC must decide what performance measurement is, what measurements to use, and how the measurements will help show what is happening for long- and short-term goals.
A report from the Auditor General found that, on average, each First Nation provides about 250 reports a year—more than five reports a week—to the government. Even so, people do not mind reporting if they know why the information is needed and that some value will come from it, Mr. Clarke said. What is needed is a strategy for measuring performance. He invited people to comment today and in the future.
Terence Wade said people in communities know what the real outcomes of INAC's programs are, or could be—people with jobs, sustainable businesses, kids taking pride in being First Nations. At the moment, reporting is focused on outputs – how much money was spent, the number of people trained – rather than outcomes, such as whether people are happy in quality jobs for which they have been well-trained. He said the final round table discussions would be about how to make the reporting tell the story of the outcomes rather than the energy spent.
Summary of the round table discussions: Measuring success
Participants in one group said they did not want to list performance indicators randomly because these could be cherry-picked, thus compromising the work that has been done over the last five to 10 years. Instead, they referred INAC to the reports and position papers of organizations, tribal councils, and other groups, including the APC chiefs' strategy and position papers, which are filled with recommendations and suggestions.
One participant said, "We are trying to do so very much at the top, and there isn't enough being done for the women and the youth." He said he had promised to raise this issue if he ever found himself in a group speaking about economic development. One can empower people, particularly women and youth, by using micro-credit, he said. This has been tried in the past, and now is the time to give it the proper resources.
How communities measure success
Participants said entrepreneurship cannot necessarily be measured in the same ways on- and off-reserve, and different groups, including government, the private sector, and individuals, might measure success differently. They also said not every community has a critical mass of people who support economic development.
Measuring success for economic development
Participants listed the following indicators of successful economic development:
- People have job training and are working in quality jobs. The council measures the number of jobs and the profit.
- There are more opportunities.
- Fewer people need social assistance, and there is less poverty.
- There is a balance between jobs created by the council and those created by the private sector.
- There is a balance between commercial success and quality of life.
- Wealth is distributed in ways that do not involve politics.
- People are aware of what is happening, and policies are in place.
- Money is invested in training and building capacity. There are spinoffs for health and education.
- The community is building partnerships and relationships and creating businesses.
- Entrepreneurs are visible and successful in the community.
- There is a diversity of jobs created by individuals.
- The community supports businesses in the community.
- There are linkages to procurement opportunities.
- There is some brain drain, which also indicates success.
Measuring success for land management
Land management is a challenge in Atlantic Canada because this region has the smallest amount of reserve land in Canada. Land management is linked to economic development.
Participants identified the following indicators of successful land management:
- The community can manage adverse conditions, such as longhorn pine beetle infestation, erosion, and hurricanes.
- The community can manage issues when there are problems, such as with estates.
- The reserve is free of conflict, which shows proper land tenure.
- The community has plans for the future for ways to use the land and for zoning.
- The community can access more land that the reserve can own completely—fee simple—from Crown lands and other sources.
- The roads are well maintained, which lowers the cost of car repairs.
How communities report economic development
Participants said reporting to the community and receiving reports as members of the community are important. They also said it is important for the community to give feedback to those who are governing and are involved in economic development and land management, especially for planning.
Participants identified the following ways communities could report success:
- Post signs: "Future site of..."
- Look at the results, such as a gas bar.
- Prepare monthly and annual reports and quarterly portfolio reports. This does not happen in all communities.
- Use web pages.
- Hand out newsletters.
- Hold open houses at board meetings.
- Have state-of-the-union addresses from community groups including youth, elders, and others.
- Piggyback on the political process, such as writing up notes in campaign letters.
- Give reports at the annual assembly.
- Have a policy that gives people access to information.
Performance indicators INAC should use
One participant suggested INAC use measurements that have already been developed, such as United Nations' indices that are available, or perhaps the Gross National Happiness index used by the King of Bhutan. Participants suggested these as useful performance indicators:
- Politics are separate from business.
- The process is transparent. INAC is holding meetings to give the First Nations more information.
The following are in place:
- Diversification in the types of industry, land designation, and businesses operating off-reserve.
- More private business.
- A balance between band businesses and private businesses.
- More people getting further in education.
- More recreation programs.
- Better gender balance in employment.
Ways to make reporting to INAC more user-friendly
One group member reported, "Our top pick is if INAC didn't lose our reports."
Participants suggested the following for making reporting more user-friendly:
- Do not freeze funds for other programs if reports are not received.
- Create a single contact for reporting.
- Ask for fewer reports.
- Have the reports ask for information and performance indicators that are relevant to the program.
- Help build people's skills in reporting.
- Contract out the service to the private sector "where improvements and technology are more adaptable and customer service is key."
- Build on reporting systems that are in place, particularly the audit, which covers about 80% of the information that is needed. For example, Health Canada provides guidelines for completing its audit to make it serve that purpose.
- Separate economic development from other reports, and have projects report once a year.
- Support a qualitative evaluation for and by communities and participate in the process.
Regional Director General
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada
Director General, Policy and Coordination Branch
Lands and Economic Development
Indian and Northern Affairs Canada – Headquarters
Mr. Wesley thanked people from INAC for "coming down to our territory with good intentions." He said great work was done and "there are a lot of things that need to be re-addressed."
Mr. Gray said while he felt he was on the hot seat at times, he appreciated the conference, and he encouraged people to speak to him about any issues in the region. He thanked his national colleagues for their willingness to cooperate, work positively, and address these issues.
Mr. Gray also congratulated Louis Joe Bernard for winning an award for his work with Michelin's Strategic Partnership with Indigenous Peoples.
Mr. Clarke said he wanted to reflect back on the conference to show that INAC was listening. He said this session was part of a larger strategy of consulting with people and organizations that are doing good work in economic development, as INAC looks at how to renew and renovate programs.
In looking at economic development in the Atlantic region, the Atlantic Aboriginal Economy Building Strategy is a good place to start, he said. APC "and others in this room" are giving good direction to this region, in ways that align well with the work INAC is doing, he said. There are obvious connections around things like control of and access to lands and resources, and unlocking the economic potential associated with them, as INAC looks for ways to support business development and entrepreneurship. There is a range of things to consider: skilled labour, the workforce, and a whole continuum of human capital, as well as the linkages between social assistance, education, labour market, and skills development.
Baseline data around reporting may seem dull, Mr. Clarke said, but by observing this session he has been able to measure the extent to which INAC is succeeding. While progress has been made in closing the gap between Aboriginal Canadians and the rest of Canada, there is still a lot of work to do.
Mr. Clarke said leaders in the Atlantic region see economic development as important, and the region is well organized. Each region has its own needs and strengths, and INAC must be able to adapt to that reality.
Mr. Clarke mentioned comments INAC staff heard during the conference:
- "Stop losing reports, or at least only lose them once."
- "Don't penalize us for having a job."
- "If we're going to pay first, don't wait six months to reimburse us."
All this "sounds fair," Mr. Clarke said.
INAC must consider the role of the different Aboriginal financial institutions. For example, the LLR might simply need to be reconstructed. Mr. Clarke said the minister believes the major banks should support economic development, and the LLR as it is may not properly support that.
Mr. Clarke said it was interesting to hear about how things work together, and to note that people were not fully aware of programs. INAC must give thought to how to build greater understanding of the tools it has.
The role of RPMAC and the idea of the speed of business came up several times. Approval has to align with activities, Mr. Clark said. INAC's fiscal year end should be irrelevant, along with other arbitrary deadlines.
Reporting must reflect due diligence at all levels while becoming more relevant and scalable to the amount of money involved, Mr. Clarke said. Approvals should be based on mitigating risk rather than on avoiding it. More could be done with PSAB, and that fund is being promoted and given more money to get Aboriginal businesses ready to participate in federal procurements.
Mr. Clark said INAC should be looking at different ways of funding programs using multi-year, flexible, and sector-based models, and setting priorities that are aligned with the priorities of communities and regions. "We should be thinking about economic development not as a project, [but] as a strategy, not a series of non-interdependent projects," he said.
The minister has talked about accelerating the ATR process, Mr. Clarke said. Things like CEDP and RLEMP work conceptually, but not necessarily in practice.
Mr. Clarke said INAC is open to looking at ways to de-silo the programs and make them more complementary. Building capacity is important both for the communities and for INAC. Now INAC must pay attention to timelines for projects and approvals, pre-approvals, risk management, creating clear standards and transparency so that communities know what to expect from INAC.
List of Participants
- Charles Harn, Joint Economic Development Initiative
- Darrel Hasiuk, Ulnoweg Development Group Inc
- Jeff Hayes, Shubenacadie Band
- Jim Hepworth, The Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq
- Todd Hoskin, Ulnooweg Development Group Inc
- Gerard Joe, Miawpukek First Nation
- Lloyd Johnson, Millbrook Band
- Rose Julian, Paq'tnkek First Nation
- Dennis King, MCPEI
- Cheryl Knockwood, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation
- Sacha LaBillois, Eel River Bar First Nation
- Don MacKenzie, MCPEI
- Lindsay Marshall, Unama'ki College
- Tracy Menge, Eskasoni Band Council
- Tina Milner, Fort Folly First Nation
- Nowlen Augustine, Elsipogtog First Nation
- Gillian Austin, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs
- Sherri Barrett, MCPEI
- Kara Bembridge, Fort Folkly First Nation
- Tina Benoit, Miawpukek First Nation
- Chief Joanna Bernard, Madawaska Maliseet First Nation
- Louis Joe Bernard, UNSI
- Marg Boer, Kingsclear First Nation
- Anita Boyle, CANDO
- Eric Christmas, Kwilmu'kw Maw-lusuaqn
- Alex Dedam, Joint Economic Development Initiative
- Tracy Fiola, Eel River Bar First Nation
- Owen Fitzgerald, Unama'ki Economic Benefits Office
- Elizabeth Fox, Innu Development Limited Partnership
- Richard Francis, Kingsclear First Nation
- Michael Girouard, North Shore Micmac District Council
- Christopher Googoo, Ulnooweg Development Group Inc
- Simon Osmond, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chief's Secretariat
- Etienne Pastiwet, Mushua Innu
- Darrel Paul, Union of New Brunswick Indians
- Eileen Paul, Membertou Band
- John G. Paul, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs
- Sidney Peters, Confederation of Mainland Mi'kmaq
- Penny Millicent Polchies, Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nation Chiefs Secretariat
- Curtis Reilly, MCPEI
- Rick Simon, Assembly of First Nations
- Aaron Sock, Elsipogtog First Nation
- Nelson Solomon, Union of New Brunswick Indians
- Grand Chief Ben Syllilboy, Waycobah First Nation
- Robin Vernest, CESO
- Jim Ward, North Shore Mi'kmaq District Council
- Allan Clarke, INAC – HQ – Lands and Economic Development
- Jennifer Alderson, INAC – HQ – Lands and Economic Development
- Ian Gray, INAC – Regional Office
- Sarah Hechavaria, INAC – Regional Office
- Lorie Benjamin, INAC – Regional Office
- Sébastien Labelle, INAC – HQ – Community Infrastructure
- Jennifer MacKinnon, INAC – HQ – Community Infrastructure
- Annie McEwen, INAC – HQ – Community Infrastructure
- Harold Hines, INAC - HQ
- Christine Morgan, INAC – HQ – Sustainable Development
- Michael Rice, INAC – HQ – Community Infrastructure
- Betty Tower, INAC
- Brian Goguen, INAC
- Bill McIntyre, INAC
- Date modified: