Spotlight on Indigenous Economic Development

Friday, March 22, 2019

Growing a $100 Billion Aboriginal Economy

The Indigenous economy in Canada was estimated at $32 billion in 2016 – and its growth has been outpacing that of the national economy since then. With the Aboriginal youth population set to grow at 4 times the national average in the coming years, the Indigenous economy represents large untapped potential for the growth of Canada’s future economy. But persistent challenges remain: lack of access to capital, limited ownership positions in major projects on Aboriginal territories, a skills gap for Aboriginal entrepreneurs and workforce, and others. But the potential and collective will to grow the Indigenous economy to $100 billion exists – and the economic impact for Canadians on and off reserve is significant.

This Spotlight explores the forces impacting the growth of the Indigenous economy and the changes – in practice and in mindset – that must be implemented to make the $100 billion Indigenous economy a reality.

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“We chose Spruce Grove because it had the best real estate prices in the area compared to other industrial parks.”

Tim Martin, General Manager, Cross Country Infrastructure Services Canada Inc.


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“The feeling of home and family orientated culture has allowed us to retain our most valuable asset, our people.”

Neil Matheson, CFO, Thompson Construction Group


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“Locating in Spruce Grove is prime for us.  We need to be centrally located in the province to reach our customers and move our products.”  

Anthony Worbeck, Sales Director, ACKT Industries


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“Retaining long-term employees is key. It’s difficult to do, but we’ve done it in Spruce Grove.”

Jack Seguin, Owner, Alberta Precast Products


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“In Spruce Grove we have everything in the way of retail businesses, excellent schools and first-class sport facilities all right here.” 

Braven Blackwell, President, Seljax


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“The City has the space we need—store frontage with lots of traffic and warehouse space.”

Rik Kaminsky, Co-Owner and CEO, Solaré Canada Inc.