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Policy Briefing: Economic Reconciliation Policy Briefing
Protesters, pictured on Parliament Hill Jan. 8, 2018, expressing solidarity with Wet’suwet’en anti-pipeline camps in British Columbia. White society must begin loosening the legal ties that have bound First Nations up to the present, writes Allan Moscovitch. The Hill Times photograph by Andrew Meade

Social assistance as economic reconciliation

For reconciliation to succeed, it is time for First Nations to have the chance to create their own social support and economic development programs free of federal government controls and the limits of provincial programs.
It means that economic development cannot happen without the free, prior, and informed consent and participation of the Indigenous people whose traditional territory that economic development will impact.
It is up to those reconciling the reality that their place in Canada has become what it is by the intentional and invisible acts of squashing Indigenous peoples’ own economic abilities.
'There have been a number of programs that were rolled out initially that didn't take into account the unique circumstances of Indigenous business,' says Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business president Tabatha Bull.
As the fastest growing population in Canada, First Nations young people will be the leaders, entrepreneurs and employees of tomorrow. Now is the time to build a proper relationship that can provide a better future for everyone within Canada’s borders.
It is about dignity and quality of life through self-determination and sustainable livelihoods.
The Indigenomics Institute is leading the narrative that a $100-billion Indigenous economy is achievable and possible now but requires constructive generative economic design and focus.
If Canada is truly serious about economic reconciliation, there needs to be a substantial investment in Indigenous education. It is time to sit down together at the kitchen table and start discussing how to move forward.
Opinion|Steven Nitah
We can deliver the same benefits here in Canada by making Indigenous-led conservation a key part of the country’s economic recovery plan.

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