State of the First Nation Economy Paper to be released Monday at Inter-Nation Trade and Economic Summit
OTTAWA, March 5 – A major new study on The State of the First Nation Economy – prepared independently for the Assembly of First Nations by a panel of academics specializing in aboriginal economic and social issues – will be released at the Inter-Nation Trade and Economic Summit in Toronto this Monday.”In recent days, economists have coined this era as The Great Recession. Not surprisingly, this paper states First Nations are the most vulnerable in times of recession,” said National Chief Phil Fontaine. “While there are a growing number of economic success stories, our Peoples are still suffering under the constraints of the dysfunctional Indian Act., which makes it difficult for many of our communities to participate in Canada’s economy.
“Housing, clean water, and other infrastructure shortages abound, especially in the more isolated communities. This paper states that fragmentation and other shortcomings in federal policy and programs need to be addressed immediately,” said National Chief Fontaine. “We are still making a difficult transition from colonial controls, assimilative measures, and removal from our traditional lands and resource base.
“The State of the First Nation Economy re-confirms the enormous potential that our growing young population can make to Canada’s economy if our children have access to proper housing, schools, education and training,” added the National Chief. “When the economy turns around, and First Nations gain more control of our territories, we can become equal partners in Canada’s future prosperity.”
The Inter-Nation Trade and Economic Summit runs from March 9-11 at the Metro-Toronto Convention Centre. Among the over 70 guest speakers and presenters are Dr. Lloyd Axworthy; economists Craig Wright (RBC), Don Drummond (TD), and Jim Stanford (CAW); Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Brad Duguid and Economic Development Minister Michael Bryant; Hydro One CEO Laura Formusa; and Bay Street investment guru Eric Sprott. A special “Ignite Change” presentation by Stephen Lewis and Thomas Homer-Dixon will be open to the public Monday evening.
For further information: on INTES, visit www.afn.ca or contact: Bryan Hendry, Senior Policy Advisor, Economic Partnerships, (613) 241-6789 ext. 229, Cell (613) 293-6106, [email protected]