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National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples to talk about Microfinance Entrepreneurship at the 5th Annual Toronto International Microfinance Summit

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… Nat’l Chief, Betty Ann Lavallée

(OTTAWA) October 1, 2013 – The National Chief of the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, Betty Ann Lavallée, CD., (Ret’d), will participate in the 5th Annual Toronto International Microfinance Summit on October 5, 2013 at the Allstream Centre, 105 Princes’ Blvd (Exhibition Place), Toronto.

“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,” stated 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 Toronto International Microfinance Summit focuses 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. For its 5th anniversary, the Summit will explore microfinance as a catalyst for social and economic change. This year’s discussion will focus on how microfinance can help Aboriginal Peoples in Canada secure financing to start businesses.

Chief Lavallée added, “Today, in order to get access to investment capital, you have to have a significant amount of your own money.  The current investment mentality in Canada is that the banks will lend money to those who have it,” added Nat’l Chief Lavallée.  “This way of thinking needs to change; particularly when you think of the many challenges that Aboriginal people living off-reserve face today.  That doesn’t mean that Aboriginal Peoples do not have million-dollar ideas.  Quite the contrary; historically Aboriginal people were known to be self-reliant and were considered very enterprising as barterers and traders.”

Since 1971, the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (Formerly known as the Native Council of Canada) has been the National Representative Organization and the National Voice for the constituency and their Affiliate Organizations making up the Congress’ family of advocates for the Off-Reserve, Non-Status, and Status Indians, Métis and Southern Inuit Aboriginal Peoples living in urban, rural remote and isolated areas throughout Canada.  Today, over 70% of Aboriginal Peoples live off-reserve.

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Julian Morelli
Director of Communications
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples
Ottawa Ontario, Canada
T: 613-747-6022 ext. 202
C: 613-325-8264
Ottawa, Ontario

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