MKO: Indigenous Contributions to the Economy

by pmnationtalk on January 11, 2019140 Views

January 10, 2019

(TreatyNo.1 Territory–Winnipeg,MB)Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Garrison Settee and Southern Chiefs’Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels, the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Federal Minister of Indigenous-Crown Relations, and the Honourable Eileen Clark, Provincial Minister of Indigenous and Northern Relations held a press conference today to release the Indigenous Contributions to the Manitoba Economy report. Other delegates who participated in the press conference included Onekanew Christian Sinclair, Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Co-Chair of Look North, Chief Dennis Meeches, Long Plain First Nation, and Bill Ashton, Rural Development Institute.

The Indigenous Contributions to the Manitoba Economy report was first conceived by the Look North initiative, and later developed into a provincial wide research project involving the Southern Chiefs’Organization, Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, and Rural Development Institute – Brandon University. The aim of the report was to quantify spending amounts by Indigenous and First Nations people in Manitoba to calculate their contributions to the provincial economy. Additionally, the report would also examine existing urban reserves in Manitoba, which are growing in importance as a revenue source for First Nations and to create projections of Indigenous population and labour force.


“Ournorthern First Nations have been historically active in the development of the Manitoba economy, and moving forward into the future our aim is to ensure that our young people have every opportunity to meaningfully participate in the economy of Manitoba. We support the innovation of our Indigenous business community, and we are optimistic that economic partnerships with our First Nations will produce ample opportunities for all Manitobans to prosper together.”

Grand Chief Garrison Settee
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak

“We have always known we were contributors to the economy here in Manitoba. The research done and presented in this report verifies that. Now we want to develop partnerships and collaborate with businesses, both domestic and internationally to enhance our quality of life. We feel that the prosperity that will come from this approach is good for both indigenous and non-indigenous people.”

Grand Chief Jerry Daniels,
Southern Chiefs’Organization

“Our government has been clear in our priorities that a growing middle class is key to growing Canada’s economy. This report outlines important information showing not only how noteworthy the contributions of Indigenous peoples in Manitoba are to the economy, but the significant potential for growth in the years ahead. I look forward to the continued partnerships our government maintains with Manitoba and Indigenous communities in Manitoba in supporting economic development opportunities.”

The Honourable Jane Philpott, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Indigenous Services, Government of Canada

“This is one of the first projects that emerged from the Look North initiative, a movement by northerners, for northerners to grow the economy in northern Manitoba,”said Clarke. “The report supports the priorities of our Economic Growth Action Plan and I’d like to acknowledge the work of Southern Chiefs Organization and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, as well as Brandon University’s Rural Development Institute and Indigenous Services Canada in making this vision a reality.”

The Honourable Eileen Clark,
Minister of Indigenous Relations, Province of Manitoba

Key Facts:

  • The report identified that spending by Indigenous businesses, governments, and households was valued at $9.3 Billion dollars to the Manitoba economy.
  • Indigenous communities have created and are currently maintaining over 35,700 jobs, providing $1.1 Billion dollars in wages and salaries to workers in Manitoba.


For more information:

Brennan Manoakeesick
Communications Officer
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak
204-795-0449 cell

Philip Paul-Martin
Communications Officer
Southern Chiefs’Organization
431-997-3936 cell


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