Best Practices

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (2012) “Closing the Gap: Partnering for Métis Labour Market Success.” 

This report seeks to understand the labour market challenging the Métis and identify strategies for business, government and Métis groups to improve Métis labour market outcomes. While the principal focus is on the Calgary region, the report also looks at other large urban regions in western Canada and the strategies identified are designed to be sufficiently flexible so as to be broadly applied. [M]

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (May 2012) “Membertou First Nation, Nova Scotia: An ISO-certified community.”

Through the marriage of indigenous knowledge and modern business practices, the Membertou First Nation has created its own good fortune. See how this ISO-certified community is forging a new path and helping other First Nations follow in their footsteps. [FN]

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (May 2012) “Westbank, British Columbia: A Self-Governing First Nation.”

In 2003, the Westbank First Nation signed a historic self-government agreement giving them the tools to make decisions over land, resources, culture and much more. See how this First Nations government is building a better quality of life for its members. [FN]

“ABORIGINAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN CANADA: Best Practices, Policies and Strategies.” (2009)

The Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) has requested a review of the literature on ‘best practices’ in Aboriginal economic development. This project has arisen from the need to discover, categorize and develop a critical analysis of the canon of extant research knowledge that is specifically focused upon increasing Aboriginal participation in the economy. [M]


Over the past decade, the taxation of Indians evolved from a broad exemption, originating from section 87 of The Indian Act, to a narrowly defined right as interpreted by the courts. The purpose of this book is to give an overview of the tax environment facing First Nations’ people and their businesses, and to provide some guidance on structuring the affairs of Indians and bands to minimize the tax liability facing them. [FN]

Calliou, Brian (2007) “Final Activity Report:  A Forum to Explore Best Practices, Policy and Tools to Build Capacity in Aboriginal Business and Economic Development.” 

In this inaugural applied research forum we addressed the questions:  What is the current state of research in Aboriginal economic and business development?  What are the best practices in Aboriginal economic and business development in Canada and the United States?  How can we move these research findings into the implementation phase and achieve change for the Aboriginal community?  This document reports the results of a two-day meeting of 28 participants from across Canada and the United States involved in the academy, First Nations, government and business sectors. [FN]

Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (2008) “Financial Reporting by First Nations Study Group.”

As a condition of its funding agreements, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) require First Nations to follow existing local government accounting standards that are now being withdrawn from the PSA Handbook. Other users either have to rely on the financial statements provided to the federal government or stipulate their own requirements. Therefore, there is an important need to address the void in accounting standards for First Nations governments. [FN]

CBCNEWS (2012) Aboriginal Peoples: Mapping the Future.”

In 2009, the Tsawwassen First Nation began implementing a treaty that will see their B.C. community sever ties with the Indian Act. Chief Kim Baird, economic development manager Terry Baird and Jessica Adams describe how their community is evolving. Interviews were conducted in December 2010. [FN]

First Peoples Group (2009) “ABORIGINAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN CANADA: Best Practices, Policies and Strategies.”

The Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non-Status Indians at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) has requested a review of the literature on ‘best practices’ in Aboriginal economic development. This project has arisen from the need to discover, categorize and develop a critical analysis of the canon1 of extant research knowledge that is specifically focused upon increasing Aboriginal participation in the economy. [M]

Fitzmaurice, Kevin (1999) “Lessons from CANDO Recognition Award Winners.”  The Journal of Aboriginal Economic Development. Volume 1/no.1/1999 pg, 6-9

The Best Practices section focuses on the practices in economic development within Aboriginal communities which are seen as excellent examples of “best practices,” those activities which produce excellent or outstanding results or that simply makes a difference. [FN]

Government of Canada. (2001) “A Marketing Supplement Prepared For Indian And Northern Affairs Canada.” ISBN 0-662-65695-4

25 Multiple Success Stories, show casing First Nations and Inuit. [FN, I]

Government of Saskatchewan (2007) “Excellence in Action: Best Practices in First Nations, Metis and Inuit Economic Development.”

Excellence in Action – Best Practices in First Nations, Métis and Inuit Economic Development was the fulfillment of a commitment made by The Honourable Lorne Calvert, Premier of Saskatchewan, at the First Ministers’ meeting on Aboriginal issues. At this meeting, he emphasized the need for partnerships from all sectors of the economy and society to advance First Nations, Métis and Inuit economic development and increase labour force participation. [FN, M, I]

Graham, John and Mackenzie Kinmond (August 2008) “Friendship Centre Movement Best Practices in Governance and Management.” 

This paper synthesizes the literature review and the case studies. The paper is divided into eleven best practice chapters, each consisting of one best practice category. Each chapter is divided into three sections. The first summarizes the literature review; the second details the Friendship Centre case study; and the third section offers a conclusion that integrates the literature review and the case study by highlighting similarities and differences between the two. [FN]

Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Government of Canada (2009) “Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development.”

The new Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development builds on a number of recent federal actions to improve the participation of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people in the Canadian economy. [FN, M, I]


This paper represents the first phase on the study and will focus on summarizing the principles and best practices to be gleaned from international and, where available, Aboriginal experience through a literature search. The emphasis is on teasing out what one might expect to find in strong communities, not on the process of transformation itself. Thus, there are few references to literature dealing with community development in small communities or the process of individual and community healing. [FN]


The following case study provides a brief glimpse of Membertou’s progression from an average Canadian First Nation community with little employment and large government deficits to a model of good governance and a significant player in the provincial economy. [FN]

Manitoba Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, Government of Manitoba (May 2001) “STRENGTHENING ABORIGINAL PARTICIPATION IN THE ECONOMY.”

This report makes recommendations to national Aboriginal Leaders and federal-provincial/territorial Ministers responsible for Aboriginal Affairs on strategies and approaches to strengthen Aboriginal participation in the economy. Pursuant to direction from Ministers and Leaders, the report addresses barriers to Aboriginal involvement in the economy, the importance of engaging the private sector and sharing best practices. [M]

McGinley, Robin (2003) “BEST PRACTICES: A planned Approach to Developing a Sustainable Aboriginal Tourism Industry in Mistissini.” THE JOURNAL OF ABORIGINAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, VOLUME 3 / NO. 2 / 2003, Pg 12-19

Mistissini’s natural environment and central location create a significant opportunity for tourism development. The CNM administration recognizes this opportunity and has been committed to developing a sustainable tourism industry for several years. As a result, it has become a leader ill the industry. [FN]

Métis Nation Gateway (March 2012) “ENVIRONMENTAL SCAN: THE ALBERTA MÉTIS BUSINESS SCENE March 2012.”

This document provides a detailed snapshot of the environment for Métis business and economic development in Alberta in 2012. [M]

National Centre for First Nations Governance (June 5, 2012) “Best Practices: Membertou First Nation.” 

In January 2002, Membertou officially achieved ISO status, making them the first aboriginal government in the world to become ISO 9001:2000 certified. With its financial house in order and a vastly improved management capacity, Membertou made three strategic decisions to attain a greater role in the mainstream economy. [FN]

Natural Resources Canada (2008) Aboriginal Engagement in the Mining and Energy Sectors: Case Studies and Lessons Learned.”

Natural Resources Canada’s Minerals and Metals Sector, in collaboration with the Task Group, held the Mining and Energy Stakeholders Workshop on Aboriginal Engagement to review selected case studies and discuss the critical success factors and key challenges that hinder successful engagement. The workshop was attended by representatives of Aboriginal organizations; federal, provincial and territorial governments and agencies; mining and energy associations; and companies from across Canada. The views of the participants on the critical success factors and key challenges to successful engagement are summarized in the last section of this document. [FN, I]

Office of the Federal Interlocutor for Métis and Non‐Status Indians (June 2010) “MÉTIS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: LOOKING FORWARD FROM WHERE WE STAND.”

Thus, this Report aims to give a sense of the ‘state of the field’ of economic development for Métis communities. The goal is enable Métis communities, governments, and the private sector to identify common opportunities to move forward on this important issue. [M]

Paul Hanley Consulting (January 2011) Policy Brief “Community Economic Development: Keys to Success.”

Métis community economic development requires strong collaborative policy development involving Canada, the Provinces and Métis organizations and their affiliated institutions. [M]

Wesley-Esquimaux, Cynthia and Brian Calliou, (2010) “Best Practices in Aboriginal Community Development:  A Literature review and Wise Practices Approach.”

A review of literature with 13 studies of best practices with empirical data, for their conclusions, practical knowledge in an Aboriginal Community and Economic Development that differentiates between “best practices” and “wise practices”, in different situations.  [FN]


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