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Government of Canada and Indigenous leaders celebrate Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement

Press Release

From: Global Affairs Canada

News release

June 23, 2022

As part of its inclusive approach to trade, Canada is developing and implementing policies to ensure that Indigenous Peoples in Canada have access to all the benefits and opportunities that flow from international trade and investment.

Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, along with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, the Honourable Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, and Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, as well as Indigenous leaders from Canada and other IPETCA economies marked the occasion of Canada’s endorsement of the Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA). IPETCA is the first trade arrangement of its kind to recognize and support Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs on a global scale.

The ministers, the parliamentary secretary and Indigenous leaders were also joined at the Canadian Museum of History by representatives from national Indigenous organizations and Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers, and Indigenous Peoples from across Canada. On Wednesday, Minister Miller, Indigenous leaders and government officials participated in an Indigenous trade symposium on trade and Indigenous Peoples.

IPETCA marks a significant turning point in the way that the government engages with Indigenous Peoples on economic development and trade promotion. It builds on the model of the Indigenous Working Group, which worked closely with the government during negotiations on the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement to protect Indigenous rights and interests. Indigenous Peoples developed proposals, reviewed text and provided advice as Canada negotiated joining IPETCA, and through IPETCA they will contribute to determining priorities and designing cooperation activities that advance their trade and Indigenous economic development interests.

IPETCA currently includes Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Chinese Taipei, and it is open to other economies to join. It commits the participating economies to establish an IPETCA Partnership Council jointly with Indigenous representatives to guide the work of implementing the Arrangement.

This Arrangement acknowledges the importance of enhancing the ability of Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous businesses to benefit from the opportunities created by international trade and investment. By identifying and removing barriers for Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs through cooperation activities including procurement, access to financing, mentorship and skills development, Canada will continue working closely with Indigenous Peoples and international partners to help more Indigenous businesses start up, scale up and access new markets around the world.

Quotes

“June is National Indigenous Peoples History Month, an opportunity to reflect on our collective past and present, and continue our work towards reconciliation. The Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA) honours the founders of trade in what we now call Canada, and provides an avenue for them to play a greater role in designing Canada’s trade and economic development policies. Through IPETCA, we continue our journey with a historic and innovative trade arrangement that will help promote trade and investment opportunities for Indigenous Peoples in markets around the world.”

– Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development

“The work of reconciliation must include economic reconciliation. Today, National Indigenous organization partners and colleagues celebrated Canada’s endorsement of the cooperation-based Indigenous Peoples’ Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement. At its heart, this arrangement is about collaboration and will help increase trade and new investments, and grow Indigenous economies in Canada and the Asia Pacific region.”

– Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services

“The Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement demonstrates that successful trade, environmental stewardship and honouring the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples can coexist. This unique cooperation-based agreement, developed in partnership with National Indigenous Organizations, recognizes the important contributions of Indigenous communities to Canada’s economy and to sustainable economic development in Canada and abroad.”

– Marc Miller, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“The Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA) will open new opportunities to strengthen and support Indigenous businesses by assisting Indigenous entrepreneurs and business owners to gain critical access to capital and markets. As IPETCA is implemented, I am confident Indigenous businesses across the Prairies, the North and Arctic—across all of Canada—and across the Asia-Pacific region will take advantage of this opportunity, create jobs and grow local economies.”

– Dan Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs, Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada and Minister responsible for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

“The Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement will no doubt lead to many trade and business successes for Indigenous communities across Canada. This collaborative and monumental agreement, which arose out of the Indigenous Working Group on Trade Policy, is a significant step towards economic reconciliation that will benefit many Indigenous communities and businesses.”

– Jaime Battiste, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations

“ The Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA) holds the promise of greater collaboration among Indigenous Peoples in the Asia-Pacific region to support our collective prosperity and well-being. The Métis National Council looks forward to contributing to international Indigenous dialogues through IPETCA. We look forward to more economies joining the arrangement and welcoming new Indigenous partners to the circle.”

– Métis National Council

“The Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement is precedent-setting. It is inclusive and supports Indigenous Peoples’ worldviews of advancing Indigenous economic development while providing environmental protection for lands, waters and natural resources.”

– Wayne D. Garnons-Williams, member of the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Committee

Quick facts

  • The Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA) is supported in Canada by the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Council, which consists of representatives of the Assembly of First Nations, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, the Métis National Council, the National Aboriginal Forestry Association, the International Intertribal Trade and Investment Organization, and the National Indigenous Economic Development Board.
  • In June 2021, Canada, under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act, affirmed the Declaration as an international human rights instrument that informs the interpretation and application of Canadian law.
  • IPETCA negotiations were inspired by the Inclusive Trade Action Group, which comprises Canada, Chile and New Zealand. IPETCA negotiations followed the signing of the Global Trade and Gender Arrangement in August 2020.

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Associated links

Contacts

Alice Hansen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development
613-612-0482
[email protected]

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
[email protected]

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