Government of Canada Invests in Northern Ontario’s Indigenous Businesses and Communities

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The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor and - Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

FedNor invests more than $13 million to help support jobs and opportunities in Indigenous communities across Northern Ontario

August 9, 2020 – Sudbury, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

Today is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, a time to recognize the contributions of those who’ve called this land home since time immemorial. No relationship is more important to the Government of Canada than that with Indigenous peoples, a Nation-to-Nation partnership. This commitment includes major investments in housing, education and health care, implementing co-developed legislation on Indigenous languages and child and family services, and introducing federal legislation on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

As we walk the road of reconciliation together, the federal government remains strongly committed to creating economic opportunities for Indigenous businesses and communities. This is especially true in Northern Ontario, where the proportion of Indigenous-owned small and medium-sized is over double that of the rest of the province.

“True reconciliation means supporting Indigenous communities and businesses by providing opportunities for their success. This investment from FedNor will do just that – helping Indigenous businesspeople to seize opportunities, helping Indigenous organizations deliver important local projects and supporting Indigenous communities on their path to self-sufficiency and prosperity. I’m excited to see the difference that this investment will make for Indigenous communities across Northern Ontario.” – The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

Federal government support for Indigenous projects in Northern Ontario

Terry Sheehan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor, today announced an investment of more than $13 million in support of Indigenous projects across Northern Ontario.

“To help kick-start Northern Ontario’s economy, our government is making strategic investments to help communities and businesses capitalize on economic development and growth opportunities. Indigenous small and medium-sized businesses exemplify the ingenuity and drive that is at the core of the region’s entrepreneurial spirit.” – Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

Delivered by FedNor, this funding will support 22 initiatives led by Indigenous communities, businesses and organizations in the region.  It will create good, local jobs in Indigenous communities by helping Mobert First Nation and Red Rock First Nation develop economic plans, helping Lac Des Mille Lacs First Nation and Wahkohtowin Development GP Inc. hire economic development staff and helping the Waabnoong Bemjiwang Association of First Nations conduct asset mapping.

“We are pleased to partner with the Government of Canada, through FedNor, to enable our communities to effectively plan and strengthen their economies and help a new generation of entrepreneurs take root and flourish right here in the North. The investment announced today will build on NADF’s extensive track record of community planning and business success to create jobs and long-term sustainable growth for our people today and the generations to come.” – Arlene Meekis, Chair, Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund

This important investment will also support local projects like new community centres and complexes for the Webequie First Nation and Ojibway Nation of Saugeen and educational initiatives like new equipment for the Seven Generations Education Institute or a training coordinator for the Shwe Miikaan Corporation. Finally, this targeted investment includes nearly $5 million for the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) to enhance business development and growth, including youth entrepreneurship, in First Nations within NADF’s vast service area.

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