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
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