Indigenous leaders, banking executives, and government collaborate at economic reconciliation roundtable

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February 9, 2024 — Ottawa, Unceded Algonquin Territory, Ontario — Indigenous Services Canada

Yesterday, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, convened an economic reconciliation roundtable between Indigenous leaders from National Indigenous Organizations and national Indigenous economic institutions, executives from Canada’s banks and the financial sector, and federal Ministers and senior officials to discuss shared goals and challenges, and to explore opportunities for collaboration and action to further advance economic reconciliation.

The roundtable was chaired by Minister Hajdu and saw meaningful input from participants from a variety of organizations. Participants discussed shared goals and opportunities to support Indigenous economies. Much of the discussion focused on taking concrete actions to support Indigenous communities and their economic institutions.

Consulting with and including Indigenous partners in economic projects is not only the right thing to do, it also makes projects better. Roundtable participants agreed that in order to make meaningful progress on economic reconciliation, there is a need to move beyond government and involve all segments of society.

To advance economic reconciliation, participants identified the need for government and the financial sector to take action and remove barriers to economic development in Indigenous communities. Participants also identified the need to develop capacity and Indigenous financial expertise as critical ingredients to achieving economic reconciliation. Participants noted the great value to coming together and will seek future opportunities to convene and continue to work together to remove barriers.

The Government of Canada is taking action on removing barriers and increasing capacity through a number of ways, including increasing Indigenous entrepreneurs’ access to capital through the Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program. This program is expertly administered by the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association and Métis Capital Corporations and has facilitated billions of dollars worth of loans to Indigenous businesses. As well, ISC is providing funding to promote a culture of entrepreneurship, to improve access to business opportunities, and to enhance the capacity of Indigenous businesses.

Roundtable participants included Cassidy Caron, President, Métis National Council; Natan Obed, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Harold Calla, Executive Chair, First Nations Financial Management Board; Ernie Daniels, President and CEO, First Nations Finance Authority; Niilo Edwards, CEO, First Nations Major Projects Coalition; Shannin Metatawabin, CEO, National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association; Dr. Marie Delorme, Board Member, National Indigenous Economic Development Board; Steven Morse, CEO, Métis Voyageur Development Fund Inc.; Geordie Hungerford, CEO, First Nations Financial Management Board; Bill Lomax, President and CEO, First Nations Bank of Canada; Stuart McKellar, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer and Corporate Secretary, ATB Financial; Dan Adams, Head, Indigenous Banking, BMO; Matthew Holmes, Senior Vice President, Policy and Government Relations, Canadian Chamber of Commerce; Jaimie Lickers, Senior Vice President, Indigenous Markets, CIBC; Penny Favel, President, Hydro One Remotes and VP, Indigenous Relations and Sustainability, Hydro One; Denis Brind’Amour, Director, ESG, National Bank; John Stackhouse, Senior Vice President, Royal Bank of Canada; Chinyere Eni, Head, Indigenous Banking, Royal Bank of Canada; Jon Davey, Vice President, Indigenous Financial Services, Scotiabank; Doris Bear, Vice President, Indigenous Banking, Toronto-Dominion Bank; Carolyn Rogers, Deputy Governor, Bank of Canada; Isabelle Hudon, President, Business Development Bank of Canada; Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank; the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services; the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations; and Marc G. Serré, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources.

Contacts

For more information, media may contact:

Reem Sheet
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor
Reem.Sheet@sac-isc.gc.ca

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada
819-953-1160
media@sac-isc.gc.ca

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