Government Commitments

Government Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation

Second meeting between leaders of national Indigenous organizations and federal, provincial and territorial ministers of Indigenous Affairs concludes in Ottawa

November 20, 2023

First Peoples Law Report: OTTAWA, UNCEDED ALGONQUIN TERRITORY, ON – On November 15th and 16th, 2023, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, federal Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Arlene Dunn, Minister of Indigenous Affairs for New Brunswick, together, in Ottawa, convened the second meeting between leaders of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK) and the Métis National Council (MNC), and provincial and territorial ministers responsible for Indigenous Affairs1.

This meeting follows one that took place in February of this year, where leaders and ministers in attendance expressed interest in convening meetings more regularly to advance the important work of reconciliation.

During this second meeting, leaders and ministers discussed an interest in working collaboratively on concrete steps to close socioeconomic gaps and improve the wellbeing of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples. On the first day of the two-day event, leaders and ministers discussed key considerations related to formalizing these meetings as an ongoing Indigenous-Federal-Provincial-Territorial table. The leaders of the AFN, ITK and the MNC also gave presentations on their organizations and the important role they play as representatives for Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

The primary focus of the second day was economic reconciliation and the session included a panel discussion with Geordie Hungerford, CEO of the First Nations Financial Management Board, Steven Morse, CEO at  Métis Voyageur Development Fund, Jenn Harper, Founder of Cheekbone Beauty, and Clint Davis, CEO, North35, and was facilitated by Victoria LaBillois, Vice-Chair of the National Indigenous Economic Development Board. The panelists offered insights from their positions as leaders in this space, as well as their views on the barriers Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities face and the fundamental components needed to truly advance economic reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. Conversations between leaders and ministers following the panel discussion identified a number of areas critical to economic equality and prosperity for Indigenous Peoples, including infrastructure, access to financial and human capital, education and skills training, connectivity, procurement policies, Indigenous tourism and the effects of climate change on Indigenous businesses and economies, amongst other areas.

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