New Agreement Focuses on Aboriginal Economic Development in Atlantic Canada

by NationTalk on April 30, 20082720 Views

News Releases
April 30, 2008

(Sydney, NS) – It has often been echoed that the key in developing stronger economies is the ability to effectively obtain, use, and share information in efficient ways.The Mi’kmaq College Institute (MCI) at Cape Breton University and the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs (APCFNC) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that focuses on creating a stronger foundation for Aboriginal economic development in Atlantic Canada.

The MOU focuses specifically on the development and implementation of the Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program (AAEDIRP) Information Repository/ Database. APCFNC will invest $25,000 with regard to this initiative and MCI will develop and implement the repository and database. Employment will be available for CBU Aboriginal students to do web searches and scan documents for the database. Economic development data will be housed at MCI for all to use.

“Both the APCFNC and MCI are committed to supporting Aboriginal students, Aboriginal individuals and Aboriginal communities to achieve economic self-reliance,” says Lindsay Marshall, Associate Dean, Mi’kmaq College Institute at CBU. “This initiative is one more step forward in making this a reality.”

“It is the Aboriginal people who will lead communities into economic sustainability,” he notes.

Underpinning economic development, MCI and APCFNC understand that sound foundational education, training, and the availability of sound information are the building blocks upon which economic development strategies can be realized.

This project will involve Aboriginal researchers and Aboriginal students in every phase of its development. Economic development baseline data, human resource best practices, and regional Aboriginal business case studies are just a few of the examples that will be researched and included.

This innovative initiative is based on the assumption that one of the most important steps Aboriginal communities can take to advance their prospects for economic development is to improve the quality of information available to them, through research and information sharing and knowledge exchange.

The benefits will be felt in terms of the strengthening of the Aboriginal leadership, contributing to entrepreneurial innovation and improving strategic planning. It will also place Aboriginal communities in a stronger position to take advantage of the potential of the information economy and the adoption of new technologies.

APCFNC and MCI understand that the success of Aboriginal Communities is vitally linked to the availability of economic development research for Aboriginal people.


Lindsay Marshall
Associate Dean, Mi’kmaq College Institute, Cape Breton University
t: (902) 563-1827

John Paul
Atlantic Policy Congress Executive Director
t: (902) 435-8024;
office (902) 830-5023

Kelly Rose
Communications Officer, Cape Breton University
t: (902) 563-1638

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