Actions and Commitments

Call to Action # 92: Business and Reconciliation (92)

Indigenous Economic Participation Key to Growth in Saskatchewan

May 6, 2024

Province Proclaims Indigenous Economic Development Day

NationTalk: The Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to proclaim May 6 as Indigenous Economic Development Day in Saskatchewan. The day recognizes the contribution of Indigenous peoples, businesses and organizations to the economic wellbeing of the province, while acknowledging the ongoing work to increase prosperity for Indigenous people and communities throughout Saskatchewan.

“Saskatchewan’s Indigenous-led companies and organizations are growing our economy by creating thousands of jobs and opportunities throughout the province,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said. “Our government is committed to build on this success with the establishment of the Saskatchewan Indigenous Investment Finance Corporation, which provides access to capital for Indigenous communities investing in Saskatchewan’s key sectors.”

Saskatchewan’s efforts to advance Indigenous economic development continue to show positive results. According to the latest data released by Statistics Canada, 5.8 per cent of Saskatchewan’s total private sector businesses have majority First Nations, Métis or Inuit ownership. This is the second highest percentage among the provinces and is more than double the national percentage of 2.4 per cent.

This dedication to supporting Indigenous economic opportunities was further demonstrated by the establishment of the Saskatchewan Indigenous Investment Finance Corporation (SIIFC) in 2022. SIIFC was founded to provide access to capital for Indigenous communities and entities participating in Saskatchewan’s natural resource and value-added agriculture sectors.

Saskatchewan also hosts an annual Indigenous Business Gathering that supports networking and is the largest provincial event showcasing Indigenous-owned businesses. The third annual gathering was held in Saskatoon in March, with more than 700 participants attending.

Indigenous Economic Development Day is supported by the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance and the Saskatchewan Indigenous Economic Development Network, and forms part of Economic Development Week which runs from May 6 to May 10.

“Indigenous cultures, for millennia, have been inter-tribal traders,” Saskatchewan Indigenous Economic Development Network Founder and Chair Milton Tootoosis said. “They had their own supply chain and used the river system as their superhighway. As bison hunters on the great northern plains and as trappers in the north they flourished. Presently, there is a slow shift to inclusion versus exclusion. A seat at the decision-making table now has, for the first time since the 19th century Numbered Treaties were entered into, made economic reconciliation not just a vision of the Chiefs, but a reality.”

The province is also seeing some healthy economic growth overall. Statistics Canada’s latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) numbers show Saskatchewan’s 2023 GDP reached an all-time high of $77.9 billion, increasing by $1.226 billion, or 1.6 per cent. This places Saskatchewan second in the nation for real GDP growth, and well above the national average of 1.2 per cent.

To help achieve further economic success, Saskatchewan recently released Securing the Next Decade of Growth: Saskatchewan’s Investment Attraction Strategy and new trade and investment website, These tools are Saskatchewan’s roadmap to increasing investment in the province and further advancing Indigenous economic participation and achieving Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan goal of achieving $16 billion in private capital investment annually.

To learn more, visit:


For more information, contact:

Daniel Kemp
Trade and Export Development
Phone: 306-519-5006