On April 29, Canada 2020 is convening a conversation we have waited too long to have: charting a new way forward with Aboriginal people in Canada.
Chronic and complex problems persist in Aboriginal communities across Canada: underdeveloped infrastructure, lack of essential services, and – most concerning – low education levels, particularly among youth.
Without these foundational building blocks in place – and strong relationships to maintain them – sustainable, long-term economic development is not possible.
Various instruments, actors and initiatives have tried – and failed – to get this right. All the while, large infrastructure projects are stalled, collaborative business opportunities have been lost, and Aboriginal communities fail to grow and thrive.
Clearly a new way forward is needed.
In order to ignite economic opportunity in Aboriginal communities, relationships need to be mended, and significant barriers need to fall – most importantly education and training.
Progress will be hard-won only by those government, business and other emerging leaders that agree on a core set of principles that stick to a long-term vision of shared prosperity and economic opportunity.
National Chief, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples Bio
Partner, Maurice Law Bio
Osoyos Indian Band; Chair, National Aboriginal Economic Development Board Bio
VP Aboriginal Affairs, TD Bank Financial Group Bio
Chairman, International Institute for Sustainable Development Bio
Director, Cameco Corporation Bio
Vice Chair, Alterra Power Corp. Bio
Columnist, National Post Bio
Co-Chair, Canadians for a New Partnership Bio