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Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations Chiefs will talk microfinance, entrepreneurship and “hand up” solutions at 5th Annual Toronto International Microfinance Summit on October 5

TORONTO, Sept. 26, 2013 – Toronto International Microfinance Summit announced today that solutions-focused leaders of Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations will discuss how microfinance, entrepreneurship and mentors can help Canada’s on- and off-reserve peoples prosper; this and more at its full-day forum on domestic and international microfinance.  Sponsored by Oikocredit, Alterna Savings and JVL Global Corp with The MasterCard Foundation providing financial assistance for 100 students to attend, the Summit brings together people with diverse backgrounds and views for dialogue and to foster critical thinking, innovation and action.

DATE: Saturday, October 5, 2013
TIME: 8:00 am Registration & The micromarketplace open, 9:00 am – 5:30 pm Program
PLACE: Allstream Centre, 105 Princes’ Blvd (Exhibition Place), Toronto
TICKETS: $125 regular, $100 student

“I believe that a national micro-finance program with the support of the private sector and all levels of government could be a game changer for many Aboriginal people living off-reserve, particularly women and our Aboriginal youth, who are the youngest and fastest growing demographic in the country,” states Betty Ann Lavallée, National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples.  “I am excited about the prospect of working with corporations and individuals who want to partner with the Congress to make micro-finance a significant part of improving the lives of the off-reserve Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.”

“The ever-changing economic landscape in our global community has a consistent thread of poverty; Canada’sIndigenous communities show glaring examples of this injustice”, adds Isadore Day, Chief of Serpent River First Nation.  “A micro-finance strategy in a First Nation can bring a new opportunity to remove obvious barriers, but the biggest reason to get inspired about First Nation micro-finance is because of the “efficacy factor.” Putting in place micro-finance in our First Nations is not only sociably responsible, it makes perfect sense from an “investment spending” standpoint and can help strengthen a First Nation’s collective efficacy by weaving greater threads of stability in a community’s fiscal fabric.”

“Microfinance operates on shared ground and can bring needed change,” remarks James Louttit, Vice President, Toronto International Microfinance Summit; Chair and President of Rotarian Action Group for Microfinance and Community Development (RAGM). “We are pleased the Toronto International Microfinance Summit provides a forum for this important dialogue.”

The Honorable Bob Rae’s keynote Why Microfinancing Matters to Canada’s First Nations opens the day. At lunch, keynote presenter, Ian Smillie transports attendees overseas with The Lady Vanishes: Canada and the World of International Development. Tavia Grant, Economics Reporter at The Globe and Mail, moderates the closing panel discussion. Speakers include: Stewart Anderson, Vancity; Patricia Erb, Save the Children Canada; Dave Kranenburg, Centre for Social Innovation; Brett Matthews, My Oral Village; Jackie Scroggie, Rift Valley Water & Sanitation Program; and Dr. Khalid Hasan, World Marketing Summit Group.

Everyone is welcome.  Join microfinance, development and business leaders, social innovators, government officials, politicians, entrepreneurs, students, academics and the media. Explore how microfinance has changed our worldand how it can accelerate change in the provision of clean water and sanitation, for women’s empowerment, through local initiatives, for Aboriginal Peoples and First Nations, in determining scale and sustainability and in the development and adoption of technology.

Follow the Summit @microfinanceTO and Join the conversation at #tims2013. Visit the micromarketplace. Watch the microwalk video and post on the microbookclub blog launching withFreedom from Want at .  A half-day pre-Summit Microfinance 101 certificate course in collaboration with Coady International Institute will be held at OCAD University on October 4. Application is mandatory. Tickets sold separately.


Toronto International Microfinance Summit is Canada’s premier event focusing on domestic and international microfinance. Founded in 2009 and incorporated as a nonprofit in 2011, the organization was inspired by the Rotarian Action Group for Microfinance and Community Development (RAGM) and Rotary District 7070 Microfinance Committee. The Summit’s signature Conference and Gala are run entirely by volunteers of diverse backgrounds and ages. Our vision is a world without poverty through microfinance. Our mission is: to educate our community on microfinance, a formidable poverty reduction tool; to create a forum for dialogue and action; and to raise profile and/or funds for organizations that make an impact through microfinance. In 2011, 40 speakers from 30 organizations on 5 continents presented at the Summit. The 2012 Toronto Microfinance Symposium was presented in collaboration withRotman School of Management, University of Toronto. In 2013, our 5th anniversary, we explore microfinance as a catalyst for social and economic change.

For more information and press passes, contact:

Wendy Bodnoff
Co-chair, Marketing, Media & Public Relations
905 334 3660


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