May 9, 2014: Realizing The Potential: Global Perspectives on Indigenous Economic Development

05/09/2014

There is a clear need for better engagement with Canada’s First Nations, Inuit and Métis on natural resource development. The sector’s future success will depend on authentic partnerships with Aboriginal communities, providing local expertise and valuable human capital. These massive projects also hold great potential for improving community economies, education, job opportunities, quality of life and long-term sustainability. The question now is how to foster respectful, trusting, and mutually beneficial relationships between Canada’s First Peoples and other stakeholders involved in resource development.

Over the past generation, there has been significant evolution around the world in this important area. Canada and other like-minded countries are doing a better job at involving communities and creating pathways for their participation. To understand these trends, the Forum examined Canadian and global practices that show how Aboriginal communities, the resource sector, and governments can learn from the past while developing new and innovative partnerships and approaches to economic development.

Through extensive interviews with leaders from the public, private, and not-for-profit sector, and with indigenous representatives, the Forum examined 11 case studies from Canada, the U.S., Latin America and Australia. We also convened a multi-sectoral executive roundtable discussion in March in Toronto. This report summarizes good practices and principles that came to light through our research and dialogue.