Economic Development

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (2012) “Economic Development.”

Supporting Aboriginal Economic development is an important part of what we do at Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC). Increasing Aboriginal participation in the economy is one way we are working to improve the well-being and quality of life of Aboriginal people in Canada, ensuring Canada’s future economic prosperity. [FN]

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (May 2012) “Legacy Agreements for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.”

As Canada prepares to host the world at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the Four Host First Nations: Lil’wat, Squamish, Tsleil-Wauthuth and Musqueam Nations, have come together to showcase their culture, language and heritage all made possible through the Legacy Agreements. These Agreements have created economic development opportunities for the Four Host First Nations that will leave a lasting legacy long after the Games. [FN]

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (May 2012) “The Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island (PEI).”

The Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island (MCPEI) is a not-for-profit tribal council and provincial territorial organization representing the Lennox Island and Abegweit First Nations. MCPEI works with both First Nations in defining what their priorities and areas of interest are and then establishes programs and services in support of those areas. Both First Nations have identified economic development as a key priority, which they hope will allow them to progress over time. [FN]

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (May 2012) “Osoyoos Indian Band.”

Situated in the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, the Osoyoos Indian Band has a strong vision for its future, which it is realizing through initiatives in agriculture, eco-tourism, and commercial, industrial and residential developments. The combination of rich agricultural land and desert tracts provides ideal conditions for many of the Band’s businesses, most notably their vineyards and winery. [FN]

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (2012) “Miawpukek First Nation.”

“We are Native people; we look after the land, we look after our spirit and we look after the people, and the businesses we developed to make this community a success must look after those three elements, so as we move forward our mission statement emphasizes this, that land, language and culture is equally as important as the profit and loss statements,” Tammy Drew, General Manager, Miawpukek First Nation, D’Espoir, Newfoundland. [FN]

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (2012) “Tourism in Wendake First Nation, Quebec.”

Pride in Huron-Wendat culture is reflected in all of its tourism projects, aimed at sharing the past, present and future. [FN]

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (2008) “Toward a New Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development.”

A new federal framework for Aboriginal economic development will provide strategic direction and inform decision-making for federal policies and programs aimed at increasing the participation of Aboriginal peoples in the Canadian economy. As noted in Budget 2008, the framework will also be informed by the work on a new approach to the Aboriginal Human Resources Development Strategy, expected in 2009. [FN]

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (2000) “Indigenous Peoples and Sustainable Development in the Canadian Arctic”

The Government of Canada believes institution and capacity building are integral steps in managing a growing array of environmental, economic, social, and cultural challenges faced by Indigenous communities in northern Canada. [I]


This paper explores economic development in an Aboriginal context with a focus on the role of entrepreneurship in the process. The material is presented in five sections:  brief overview of the socioeconomic circumstances of the Aboriginal people, discussion of entrepreneurship and its role in the economy, Aboriginal response to their current socioeconomic circumstances and the role of entrepreneurship and capacity building through land claims/treaty rights in that response.  The fourth section is a discussion of the outcomes achieved by Aboriginal people as a result of their economic development activities. In the concluding section, this paper raises issues to be considered by Canadians — Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal — as we enter the 21st Century. [FN]


Research shows that Aboriginal economic development is characterized by an emphasis on the creation of profitable business ventures. This paper reviews economic development theory in search of a perspective relevant to Aboriginal communities. An alternative perspective is then proposed. [FN]


The First Nations in Canada and Indigenous people around the world are becoming increasingly active in economic development activities.  Through the creation of business ventures competing at the regional, national and international scale they are struggling to find a place in the new economy. [FN]

Anderson, Robert B. Leo Paul Dana, Teresa E. Dana (February 2006) “Indigenous land rights, entrepreneurship, and economic development in Canada: “Opting-in” to the global economy.” Journal of World Business Volume 41, Issue 1, February 2006, Pages 45–55

We begin our exploration of indigenous development as social entrepreneurship by discussing the importance and context of indigenous development globally and in Canada in particular. This is followed by a discussion of development theory and an assessment of the theoretical feasibility of the Aboriginal approach to development, which we contend is grounded on a foundation of social entrepreneurship. This is followed by three case studies, researched by our team using secondary research as well as interviews and triangulation (Patton, 1990). [FN]

B.C. First Nations  (2012) “Journey to Economic Independence.”

The purpose of this project was to conduct a first-hand examination of the successes and struggles in economic development within a cross-section of B.C. First Nations and shed light on the journey of First Nations as they move toward building sustainable economies. The desired outcome of this project was to learn from First Nations communities that have established themselves as a strong economic presence in the province. Their Chiefs, Councilors, and/or economic development officers shared their economic development stories, so that other First Nation communities might learn from their experiences. [FN]

British Columbia First Nations (January 2007) “Framework:  B.C. First Nations Economic Development Strategy.”

The purposes of this First Nations-driven Strategy are: to close key gaps that exist between First Nations and other British Columbians, including income and employment levels, and quality of life indicators; to create a climate to attract investment and generate wealth; and to foster relationships and create partnerships and opportunities for economic development. [FN]

BelangerYale D. (2002) “THE MORALITY OF ABORIGINAL GAMING: A Concept in the Process of Definition.” THE JOURNAL OF ABORIGINAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, VOLUME 2 / NO, 2 / 2002, Pg. 25-36

Aboriginal gaming in Canada is a recent trend. As a result, many of the exigencies involved with adopting gaming as an economic development tool are as yet unknown. It is apparent from recent events in Canada that one major obstacle the country’s First Nations leaders will need to overcome is outside concerns regarding the moral validity of gaming and whether community leaders are ethically precluded from embracing gaming as a tool to aid in economic renewal/revival. [FN]

Bruce, David and Patti Doyle-Bedwell (2011) “Baseline Data for Aboriginal Economic Development:  An Informed Approach for Measuring Success.”

This report provides a summary of the baseline information for a variety of indicators measuring economic development progress in Aboriginal communities in Atlantic Canada. Progress is reported primarily for the reference period 2001 to 2006. [FN]

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (n.d.) “Community and Commerce:  A Survey of Aboriginal Economic Development Corporations.”

This report provides insights into Economic Development Corporations (EDC) successes, challenges and strategies. The research also examines EDCs’ relationships with other organizations (including government and private sector) and their role in the community. [FN]

CardinalCheryl (2005) “CANDO ECONOMIC DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR AWARDS 2003: Utilizing Traditional knowledge to Strive towards unity.” THE JOURNAL OF ABORIGINAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, VOLUME 4/ NO. 2/2005, Pg 13-20

The Business Category Award was accepted by Bernd Christmas on behalf of the Membertou Corporate in Nova Scotia. The recognition award winner was Air North Charter & Training Ltd & Vuntut Development Corp. Mark Wallace Wedge a member of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation in the Yukon Territories accepted the Individual Award. The recognition award winner was Richard Alfred Dickson. The interviews offer a glimpse of each award winner’s strategies concerning Economic Development. [FN]

ClassenAnna (2000) “CANDO Aboriginal Economic Development Recognition Awards.” THE JOURNAL OF ABORIGINAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, VOLUME I / NO. 2 / 2000 PG. 14-27

At its annual President’s Dinner in Vancouver BC, November 27 1998, CANDO presented Recognition Awards to four outstanding examples of sound and innovative Aboriginal economic development projects. [FN]

Coady Institute (2012) “IWCL Case Study: St. Mary’s Maliseet Nation.”

St. Mary’s First Nation is the largest of Maliseet Nations along the St. John River in New Brunswick. The reserve is self-sufficient and boasts community- supported economic social development programs available to members on and off-reserve. [FN]

Cornell, Stephen and Joseph P. Kalt (2000) “Where’s the glue?  Institutional and cultural foundations of American Indian economic development.”

Generous resource endowments, human capital, and access to financial capital will be virtually useless if tribes are incapable of making collective decisions and sustaining collective action, and if they lack the institutional structures necessary to maintain a hospitable environment for human and financial investment. [FN]

Cornell, Stephen and Joseph P. Kalt (1998) “Sovereignty and Nation-Building:  The Development Challenge in Indian Country Today.”

The Indian nations of the United States face a rare opportunity of a political and organizational one.  It is a chance to rethink, restructure, reorganize—a chance not to start a business or exploit an economic niche but to substantially reshape the future.  It is the opportunity for nation-building. [FN]


Instead of a building block approach grounded in First Nations traditional economies, Cornell and Kalt propose working ‘backwards’ from the requirements of capitalistic economic activity: “[a] more useful approach is to identify the key ingredients of successful economic development, determine which of these ingredients are most important, and identify which ones tribes actually can do something about.” [FN]

Findlay, Isobel M. and Wanda Wuttunee (2007) “Aboriginal Women’s Community Economic Development: Measuring and Promoting Success.” IRPP Choices 13 (4).

Drawing on our experience with Aboriginal women engaged in community economic development (CED), this research study aims to fill a gap in the literature on Aboriginal quality of life and Aboriginal CED by highlighting the hidden success stories involving the enormous and growing innovation and enterprise of Aboriginal women’s CED in Canada. [FN]


The CANDO Economic Developer of the Year Award was created to recognize outstanding achievement and to increase awareness of successful Aboriginal economic development initiatives.  Here we look at:  The Eskasoni Fish and Wildlife Commission, Tribal Councils Investment Group, Six Nations Economic Development, and The Council of Naskapi Nation of Kawawachikamach. [FN]

Girard, Benoît and William A. Ninacs (April 2006) “Case Study: Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec.”

This case study focusses on the Fédération des coopératives du Nouveau-Québec (FCNQ). The topic of this study reflects the priority sectors of “economic development in rural, remote or northern communities” and “Aboriginal community development.” [I]

Goodfellow-Baikie, Robin L. and Leona M. English (March 2005) “First Nations and community economic development: a case study.” Oxford University Press and Community Development Journal. 2005, Vol 41 No 2 April 2006 pp. 223-233

This article is a case study of a community economic development (CED) project in a First Nations community in northern Canada. In particular, this article reports on the evaluative focus group interviews held three years after the failed introductory process; the evaluation data are used to analyze why the industry could not be implemented there. [FN]

Hobbs, Lawrence and Angela von Sicard, Chinook Solutions Inc. (September 2008) “MANITOBA MÉTIS ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY: FINAL REPORT.”

This report documents the overall outcomes of the Manitoba Métis Economic Development Strategy project, a joint effort with the active participation of the Manitoba Métis Federation, the Province of Manitoba and the Government of Canada and facilitated by Chinook Solutions (‘the consultant’). The project began in the fall of 2007 and concludes with the delivery of this report. [M]


The Nunavut Economic Forum is a broad group of member organizations which was developed to identify and share information on economic development activity in Nunavut. The primary focus for the organization is to bring the members together to collaborate in the implementation of The Nunavut Economic Development Strategy, each within their own area of activity and expertise. Successful implementation of the Strategy depends on the actions of each of the stakeholders. [I]

Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) (1992) “REPORT ON NATIVE PARTICIPATION IN MINING.”

In August 1989, the Intergovernmental Working Group on the Mining Industry (IGWG) formed a Sub-committee to study the nature of Native participation in the mining industry in Canada. Native participation was defined broadly to include employment, provision of services by Natives or Native owned companies, financial involvement, and input into mine development and regulatory review process of 8 Case Studies. [FN][I]

JahnCheryl (CKPG News) (February 2012) “Aboriginal Business.” 

A unique networking venture is was taking place at the Civic Centre over the course of two days. First Nation Economic Development Officers were match-making with other businesses to forge those direct relationships. [FN]

Ketilson, L. Hammond and I. MacPherson (2002) “ABORIGINAL CO-OPERATIVES IN CANADA: A Sustainable Development Strategy Whose Time Has Come.” THE JOURNAL OF ABORIGINAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, VOLUME 3 / NO. I / 2002, Pg 45-57

This paper looks at the current state of Aboriginal co-operatives, their characteristics, their sector distribution, and the contributions of Aboriginal co-operatives to regional and community economic and social development.  It examines the possibilities Aboriginal peoples might explore should they consider employing the cooperative model more extensively in meeting one or more of their needs. [FN]

Lori Ann Roness Consulting and Mary Collier (March 2010) “Assessing the Effectiveness of Labour Force Participation Strategies.” 

The purpose of the study was to assess how well Aboriginal labour force participation strategies have worked for Aboriginal people in the Atlantic region, with a particular focus on the past five years, and how they can be improved. [FN]

Métis Nation Economic Development Forum-2 (October 2010) “Summary of Discussions and Findings.”

The Forum had a dual purpose. The first was to update the Métis Nation Economic Development Framework first developed in February 2009 as an economic development strategy for the Métis Nation in response to the Métis Nation Protocol and the new Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development. The second was to provide Métis Nation input into the implementation of the federal framework as provided by the Protocol with a particular focus on the renovation of INAC economic development programs. [M]

Métis Nation Economic Development Summit (2012)”Highlights from the:  METIS NATION ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT 2012.” Grand Prairie, AB.

A community driven by the oil and gas industry, the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project is on way and more opportunities are opening up for the 400 Metis that share the land of Grand Prairie.  The project is a 5.5 billion investment in creating a pipeline to the Coast of B.C.  Many other First Nations are also included in the project and hope to build a lasting partnership. [M]

National Aboriginal Health Organization (2006) “Resource Extraction Development and Well Being in the North: A Scan of the Unique Challenges of Development in Inuit Communities.”

The Arctic regions of Canada are rich with natural resources. From oil and gas to diamonds and nickel, the North is becoming an attractive destination for resource extraction development. Although development brings money, work, and the potential for Inuit to become more economically self-reliant, development also has the potential to cause many negative social impacts and disruptions to community wellbeing. [I]

National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health (2009–2010) “Economic Development as a Social Determinant of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Health.”

Economic development generates employment opportunities and leads to improved education and skills acquisition. It is an important tool in alleviating poverty and other social conditions that lead to ill health. [FN][M][I]

National Economic Development Committee for Inuit Nunangat (NEDCIN) (July 2009) “Community Economic Development (CED) in Inuit Nunangat: Context and Statement of Principles.” (DRAFT v3a)

The goal of CED in Inuit Nunangat is to develop a diverse economy which balances new opportunities with traditional knowledge, skills and values. It is a process which focuses on developing people to their full potential. It requires a long-term strategy to ensure that Inuit and Inuvialuit beneficiaries have the formal educational qualifications needed to fill the full range of professional and administrative jobs within their settlement areas. [I]

National Economic Development Committee for Inuit Nunangat (NEDCIN) (January 2010) “Economic Development Provisions of the Inuit Comprehensive Land Claim Agreements.” (Draft v.4)

The purpose of this Background Paper, in very general terms, is to provide the reader with a broad overview of the economic development provisions of the Inuit CLCAs along with commentary highlighting the fundamental importance of these provisions in relation to the achievement of the basic goals of these agreements. [I]

National Economic Development Committee for Inuit Nunangat (NEDCIN) (December 2010) “Equitable Access by Inuit Regions to Federal AED Programs.” (Draft v.10) 

The purpose of this paper is therefore to provide members of NEDCIN with descriptive and analytical information related to the policy concern that has been expressed by the Inuit in relation to ensuring equitable access to federal AED programs and funding sources by all regions within Inuit Nunangat and filling any gaps that might exist with regard to AED program and service delivery arrangements. [I]

National Economic Development Committee for Inuit Nunangat (NEDCIN) (December 2010) “Inuit ASD-XDO Strategy for Providing Business Advice and Equity Support in Inuit Nunangat.” (Draft v.11) 

The purpose of this paper is therefore to bring a series of observations and specific proposals to the members of NEDCIN for their consideration in relation to the recommendations contained in the Equitable Access paper that deal with providing business advice and equity support to businesses and entrepreneurs in the four regions of Inuit Nunangat. Taken together, this series of proposals for the funding and delivery by the Inuit CEDOs of these elements of the Aboriginal Business Development program suite might for convenience be referred to as the “Inuit ASD-XDO Strategy”. [I]

OakesJill (February 1995) “Climate and Cultural Barriers to Northern Economic Development:  A case study from Broughton Island, N.W.T., Canada.”

The purpose of this paper is to identify climate and cultural factors influencing the Minnguq Sewing Group in Broughton Island, Northwest Territories (N.W.T.), Canada, and to relate this information to relevant literature on economic development. [I]

Sibbeston, Nick G. (2006) “Aboriginal Involvement in Economic Development: Elements for Success and Obstacles to Achievement.”

The statistics documenting the problems experienced by aboriginal communities across Canada are well-known.  Poverty, high unemployment, lack of infrastructure and suitable housing are all endemic to aboriginal communities.  Despite this, there are many aboriginal success stories – communities that have gotten fully engaged in economic activities, exploiting renewable and non-renewable resources for the benefit of their people. [FN]


The Buffalo Point First Nation is located on Lake of the Woods near the U.S. border and provides an excellent location as a tourist destination from both Canadian and US visitors. Today, the tourist facility offers summer and winter tourism experiences and provides employment and support for the Buffalo Point community.  The success enjoyed thus far ensures more development for the community. [FN]


Debates cover the spectrum ranging from eco-centric “strong sustainability” to business- as-usual “weak sustainability” interpretations. Despite this definitional ambiguity the essence of the concept – the need to link the economic, social and ecological imperatives of development – has become widely agreed upon. Many have now turned their attention to the question of implementation. How can the ideal of sustainable development be translated into reality? [FN]

Wuttunee, Wanda. (2004) Living rhythms: Lessons in Aboriginal economic resilience and vision. Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press.  Pg. 29-52 [LC Call Number: E78.C2—W795 2004eb]

For Tsuu T’ina Nation, the goal in 1994 was to move away from dependence on government. The main strategy was to heal community members and develop economically viable projects that earned revenue and provided employment. They wanted their young people to work in the community in positions with a future. Comments by key decision-makers follow, and include the community’s chief, a councilor holding the economic development portfolio, the chief commissioner, and the manager of economic development. They provide insight and glimpses into the personal vision guiding each of them. [FN]


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