A Collaborative Effort for Inclusive Economic Development
NationTalk:: NNL Digital News Update – THUNDER BAY – BUSINESS – An initiative for assessing the economic contributions of Indigenous communities in Thunder Bay has been launched.
The Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission (CEDC) collaborates with Fort William First Nation, the Anishnawbe Business Professional Association (ABPA), and the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) to spearhead this significant project.
This pioneering study, conducted by Indigenous & Community Engagement (ICE) Inc. and Big River Analytics (BRA), aims to quantify the impact of Indigenous businesses within the Thunder Bay Census Metropolitan Area. It underscores a collective commitment to inclusive growth and economic reconciliation.
Jamie Taylor, CEO of Thunder Bay CEDC, highlights the project’s significance: “This collaboration marks a critical step towards sustainable and inclusive economic development in Thunder Bay. By understanding the role of Indigenous businesses, we aim to foster a community where diversity and economic growth go hand in hand.”
Uncovering the Economic Impact of Indigenous Communities
The study will delve into various economic metrics, such as gross output, GDP, labor income, and job creation linked to Indigenous businesses. It will also explore the role of Thunder Bay as a regional hub for northern Indigenous communities, examining the economic effects of spending on healthcare, education, training, and other essential services.
Brian Davey, CEO of NADF, emphasizes the study’s objective: “Our goal is to reveal the substantial contributions of Indigenous people to Thunder Bay’s economy, promoting a deeper understanding and appreciation of their integral role in our community’s prosperity.”
Bridging Knowledge Gaps and Challenging Myths
Jason Rasevych, President of the ABPA, expresses enthusiasm about the project’s potential to challenge misconceptions: “This study is crucial for quantifying Indigenous spending and debunking myths about First Nations’ economic involvement. It will provide invaluable insights into the true value of First Nations’ investments in Thunder Bay and the broader Canadian economy.”
Steering Towards a Brighter Future
A steering committee comprising members from the Thunder Bay CEDC, ABPA, NADF, and Fort William First Nation’s Economic Development Department will guide this project, focusing on enhancing economic growth and supporting Indigenous businesses.