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Readout – Indigenous leaders, banking executives, and government seek concrete solutions to address economic barriers at second Economic Reconciliation Roundtable

Press Release

From: Indigenous Services Canada

May 30, 2024

On Monday, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, convened an economic reconciliation roundtable at the Bank of Canada between Indigenous leaders from National Indigenous Organizations and economic institutions, executives from Canadian banks and the financial sector, and federal Ministers and senior officials to identify opportunities to reduce economic barriers for Indigenous Peoples and advance economic reconciliation.

Conversations focused on seeking concrete solutions to support Indigenous groups in accessing affordable capital to enable them to pursue their economic visions for the future. Participants offered practical solutions to overcome barriers presented by the Indian Act. They also gained a deeper understanding of the factors considered by financial institutions in existing risk assessment practices and explored what immediate actions could be taken to obtain affordable capital. The roundtable discussions further cemented commitments to economic reconciliation and advanced the relationships to support it.

The Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister, attended the roundtable and facilitated a session with participants on the Indigenous Loan Guarantee Program announced in Budget 2024.

The meeting continued a discussion started at the first economic reconciliation roundtable hosted by Minister Hajdu on February 8, 2024, where participants noted that both the government and the private sector have an important role to play in providing tools and programs to support Indigenous economic visions.

As part of Canada’s commitment to advancing economic reconciliation, Indigenous Services Canada is also collaborating with Indigenous partners to develop an overarching economic reconciliation framework.

The framework will help to align economic development programs and policies across the government and reflect the distinct priorities identified by First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities and representative organizations through their respective engagement processes. Core to this framework development, Indigenous Peoples are working to identify their economic priorities and develop proposals to achieve their visions of economic prosperity and well-being.

This roundtable also aligns with other initiatives underway at the Department of Indigenous Services Canada to increase procurement opportunities for Indigenous suppliers, including the co-development of the Transformative Indigenous Procurement Strategy and the Government of Canada’s commitment to the implementation of the Government’s five percent Indigenous procurement target. The Transformative Indigenous Procurement Strategy seeks to increase procurement opportunities for Indigenous businesses and determine a path forward to transferring the administration of the Indigenous Business Directory to partners. The Indigenous Business Directory aims to ensure that Indigenous businesses can more easily participate in contracting opportunities and will allow for increased engagement between members the private sector, the Government of Canada, and Indigenous-owned businesses across the county.

Roundtable participants included Cindy Woodhouse Nepinak, National Chief, Assembly of First Nations; Cassidy Caron, President, Métis National Council; Natan Obed, President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Scott Munro, Deputy CEO, First Nations Financial Management Board; Ernie Daniels, President and CEO, First Nations Finance Authority; Saga Williams, Senior Advisor – External Affairs, First Nations Major Projects Coalition; Cory McDougall, Chief Operating Officer National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association; Dawn Madahbee Leach, Chair, National Indigenous Economic Development Board; Steven Morse, CEO, Métis Voyageur Development Fund Inc.; Bill Lomax, President and CEO, First Nations Bank of Canada; Stuart McKellar, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer and Corporate Secretary, ATB Financial; Dan Adams, Head, Indigenous Banking, BMO; Jaimie Lickers, Senior Vice President, Indigenous Markets, CIBC; Penny Favel, President, Hydro One Remotes and VP, Indigenous Relations and Sustainability, Hydro One; Sean St John, Executive Vice-President and Managing Director, National Bank; John Stackhouse, Senior Vice President, Royal Bank of Canada; Jon Davey, Vice President, Indigenous Financial Services, Scotiabank; Carolyn Rogers, Senior Deputy Governor, Bank of Canada; Isabelle Hudon, President, Business Development Bank of Canada; Ehren Cory, CEO, Canada Infrastructure Bank; the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services; Gina Wilson, Deputy Minister, Indigenous Services Canada; Michelle Kovacevic, Associate Deputy Minister, Indigenous Services Canada; Jeff Labonté, Associate Deputy Minister, Natural Resources Canada; Manny Jules, Chief Commissioner, First Nations Tax Commission; Shaun Soonias, Vice-President Indigenous Relations, Farm Credit Canada; Valerie Gideon, Deputy Minister, Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada; Blaine Favel, Assembly of First Nations; Tiff Macklem, Governor, Bank of Canada; Suzy McDonald, Associate Deputy Minister, Department of Finance; Etienne-René Massie, Assistant Deputy Minister, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry; Chief Lance Haymond, Project Director, Yanonhchia Housing Finance Initiative; Michael Kelly, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer, OMERS; the Honourable Gary Anandasangaree, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations; the Honourable Chrystia Freeland, Deputy Prime Minister.

For more information, media may contact:

Jennifer Kozelj
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor

Media Relations
Indigenous Services Canada



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