ONTARIO MINISTRY OF ABORIGINAL AFFAIRS – Working Group Front Row (Left to Right): The Hon. Eva Aariak, Premier of Nunavut; Elisapee Sheutiapik, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami; Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, Native Women’s Association of Canada; The Hon. Chris Bentley, Ontario; Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, Assembly of First Nations; The Hon. Mary Polak, British Columbia; Betty Ann Lavallée, Congress of Aboriginal Peoples; The Hon. Len Webber, Alberta. Back Row (Left to Right): The Hon. Eric Robinson, Manitoba; David Chartrand, Metis National Council; The Hon. Floyd Roland, Premier of the Northwest Territories; The Hon. Geoffrey Kelley, Quebec; Brian Skabar, Nova Scotia; The Hon. Ken Cheveldayoff, Saskatchewan; The Hon. David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick; Wes MacLean, New Brunswick.

New Website Showcases Aboriginal Business Achievement


The First Peoples Economic Growth Fund. The Prince Edwards Island First Nations Roads Program. The Yukon Mine Training Association.

Read all about these and other success stories at a new website launched by the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group, a consortium of the ministers of aboriginal affairs of each territory and province, plus leaders of the nation’s aboriginal organizations.

Under headings such as “Access to Capital,” “Training, Development and Capacity Building” and “Coordination and Information Sharing,” the group’s new Success Stories site showcases business achievement among Canada’s indigenous peoples. The site “celebrates, promotes and shares accomplishments and proven advancements in aboriginal economic development” in hopes of shining a light to others hoping to make their way out of poverty. There’s also information about issues affecting aboriginal economic development.

It’s not just First Nation leaders who feel affected by the need for aboriginal development. Provincial leaders, concerned over the aging of their European-descended population, are looking toward the future.

“We have huge demographic challenges,” David Alward, New Brunswick’s minister of aboriginal affairs, told the Times & Transcript. “We’re one of the provinces that is growing the greyest most quickly. Within our province, the group bucking that trend is the aboriginal community.”

The announcement capped AAWG’s third annual meeting, on April 19. Among other topics discussed, participants called for a First Ministers’ meeting on aboriginal education with aboriginal leaders; repeated the desire for the federal government to join AAWG’s efforts and discussions; agreed to formally partner with the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) to work on shared priorities; develop key educational-engagement strategies, and support a summit on women’s issues and a forum on violence against aboriginal women.

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