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January 22, 2007
Executive Council – 019
Aboriginal business and economic development practices, and the best policies and approaches for supporting their success, will be the topic of a national symposium beginning tomorrow in Saskatoon and concluding on Thursday.
Almost 700 people from across Canada—including the Premiers of B.C., Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, and the North West Territories, and key Aboriginal leaders—will be in attendance for “Excellence in Action: Best Practices in First Nations, Métis and Inuit Economic Development” at Teacher’s Credit Union Place. The symposium agenda features keynote speakers, panels, and sessions addressing Aboriginal challenges and successes at every level of economic activity.Host organizations of the symposium are the Government of Saskatchewan, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, and the Clarence Campeau Development Fund, a Métis-controlled financial institution.
“This symposium results from the need to take a practical look at the steps that must be taken locally and nationally to help achieve greater Aboriginal participation in the economy,” Premier Lorne Calvert said. “Given the activity that is already taking place, and the challenges that still face us, we are very confident that the delegates we have invited here to meet in Saskatchewan will generate meaningful and significant discussion about what should be done next.”
Scheduled panel presentations include:
• “Challenge, Change and Development: Strategies for Success,” which will identify First Nations, Métis and Inuit communities and Aboriginal businesses that have generated, and are sustaining, economic and employment benefits.
• “Maximizing Opportunities in Strategic Sectors,” providing an overview of best practices in strategic sectors from both community-based and business perspectives.
• “What’s Making a Difference in Training, Skills Development and Labour Market Development”, which will explore approaches to a representative workforce or the “return on social inclusion” that have delivered results.
“We anticipate that this will prove to be an excellent opportunity for meaningful discussion on creating tangible steps for increased Aboriginal engagement in business and economic development right across Canada,” Clarence Campeau Development Fund vice-chair Ron Rivard said.
“When Treaty was signed, the concept of sharing was first and foremost. Both parties were supposed to have the tools to drive economic development which leads to social well-being. We hope this symposium will lead to meaningful discussion about revenue sharing and jurisdiction. These are the real tools we, in co-operation with society, can use to generate economic and social development for First Nations people,” Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Lawrence Joseph said.
Workshops and discussion groups will feature topics such as integrating technology for community growth and economic development, understanding venture capital, innovative partnerships in banking, and enabling partnerships and policies.
Aboriginal youth from across Canada who are engaged in economic development are participating in a youth forum, which will provide an opportunity for them to network with their peers and discuss how their own businesses and communities can benefit from what they learn.
Other major sponsors include SaskPower, SaskEnergy, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Crown Investments Corporation and Aboriginal Business Canada. Further details are available at the symposium website at www.excellenceinaction2007.ca.
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