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As an Indigenous woman working in the world of economic development, my thoughts never stray too far from the question “how can this benefit my community?” Last week, at an incredibly successful Canadian Western Agribition, I had the opportunity to attend the 9th Annual Indigenous Agriculture Summit (IAS), as I did in 2021, and all week long I was wondering how I can help make an economical difference in Indigenous communities.
With that in mind, here are my Indigenous-geared take-aways from this year’s event and how or why they apply to the work of agencies like EDR:
Agriculture is becoming increasingly important to the Indigenous economy.
Not only are Indigenous people reclaiming farming and ranching, but they’re also doing it in a sustainable way that provides sovereignty and security to Indigenous nations. After all, Indigenous peoples are the original environmentalists that practice a “from the earth back to the earth” mentality. In the future, it’s conceivable that nations could lead the way in advancements like smart farming or indoor farming. Key to making this vision a reality is finding ways to ensure nations have better access to land and appropriate funding. That’s where EDR comes in.