Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office: A Model to Build On
In collaboration with the Conference Board of Canada, The Atlantic Policy Congress (APC) of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat releases report highlighting critical success factors in establishing meaningful partnerships between Atlantic First Nations and governments and corporate sectors.
On behalf of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat (APC), the Conference Board of Canada has completed a regionally-focused study of the progress five Unama’ki First nations and their joint Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office (MEBO) have made to develop partnerships that grow Aboriginal employment opportunities and Aboriginal owned businesses. MEBO is a multipurpose institution that serves a variety of functions, such as helping to bridge gaps in understanding between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal partners, developing employment training programs, and facilitating collaboration across community, government, and industry sectors.
The study titled, How the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office supports partnerships for First Nations Employment and Business Development: Critical Success Factors and Lessons Learned, consisted of collecting and analysing program data, survey research, and a comparative case study of major project partnerships supported by MEBO. It examined the organization’s critical success factors, as well as potential barriers and limitations to establishing partnerships that are appropriate to the employment and business needs of First Nation communities and to their goals for self-determination.
APC Executive Director, John G. Paul commented “This study is intended to provide guidance to Aboriginal organizations and leaders across the region as they look to addressing the critical issue of economic development, job creation and training. Paul added, “It is hoped that this study will help to provide stakeholders with a deeper understanding of this organization in an effort to promote constructive debate around the role an Economic Benefits Office can play to help level the playing field for First Nations in the Atlantic economy.”
In an ideal world, an Economic Benefits Office represents a common ground between communities, governments, and businesses, where trust is established and where partners can come together to “set the table” for Aboriginal economic development. MEBO provides a credible organizational model that fosters an innovative way forward as First Nations work to build meaningful partnerships to address continued growth in business and employment sectors.
“Industry will often say they want to engage Aboriginals, but don’t know how,” said Alex Paul, Executive Director of the Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office. “We bring solutions to the table for industry, proven processes to help them successfully engage Aboriginals and build upon their skilled workforce and we are glad to share our experience.”
This study was funded through the Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program (AAEDIRP) by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, and the Nova Scotia Office of Aboriginal Affairs.
The findings from this study will inform community and government economic policy and program development initiatives, support employment programs, as well as support Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal business partnerships in Atlantic Canada.
Click here to access the full report: http://www.apcfnc.ca/economic-development/aaedirp/reports-and-publications/
Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat is a policy research and advocacy organization that analyzes and develops culturally relevant alternatives to federal policy for 37
Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Innu communities and peoples.
For further information contact:
John G. Paul
Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat
Phone: 902-830-5023 (cell) or toll free 1-877-667-4007
Owen Fitzgerald, MBA
Director Industry & Gov’t Engagement
Mi’kmaw Economic Benefits Office
201 Churchill Dr., Membertou
NS, B1S 0H1
Tel: 902-562-4700 (3301)
Adam Fiser, Ph.D
Senior Research Associate, Centre for the
North, The Conference Board of Canada
255 Smyth Road, Ottawa Ontario
ON, K1H 8M7
Tel: 613-526-3090 (391)