Economic Partnerships Portfolio Canadian Council of Churches May 12, 2009
Economic Partnerships Portfolio • Portfolio includes: • Economic Development • Labour Force Development • Connectivity
Structure • AFN Chiefs Committee on Economic Partnerships (national) • AFN Chiefs Committee on Human Resources Development (national) • Committees as above are mandated by resolution from Chiefs in Assembly and/or by the AFN Executive Committee; reports from the Chiefs Committees are delivered to the AFN Executive Committee and the Chiefs in Assembly during Annual General Assemblies, and their Special Assemblies. • Adhoc Technical and Mandated experts groups: • First Nation Technical Committee on Human Resources Development • First Nation Economic Experts Advisory Group • Making First Nation Poverty History Committee • First Nation Connectivity (ITCs) Technical Committee
First Nation Economic Blue Print • AFN Chiefs Committee on Economic Development (CCED) developed, with the advice of the Economic Experts Advisory Group, the First Nation Economic Blue Print. • The advisory group’s assignment was to respond to a very broad question: if there slate were clean what would they recommend? The experts considered a response that took into account the possibility that there would be little funding, if any, new resources to economic development – a normally low funded area of activity. • Suggested four key theme areas: • Nation Building • Economic Infrastructure (First Nation government and physical) • Labour Force Development • Resource Revenue Sharing • Complemented by two key initiatives to help advance the four themes, which are a Corporate Relations Strategy and an Economic Research Table – both of which are now active.
Corporate Challenge • The purpose of the Corporate Challenge is to increase procurement, investment, and employment opportunities with First Nations communities, citizens and businesses. • The Chiefs Committee is examining a report card method for this initiative. • Since 2007, the AFN has facilitated eight (8) work relationships with the corporate community through Memoranda of Understanding. • To date, more than 400 jobs held by First Nation citizens have been facilitated through the AFN Corporate Challenge. • Corporate partners are identifying funds to be designated for First Nation employee training. • Royal Bank of Canada has supported Aboriginal water issues in Canada, through Leadership Grants (2208) as part of the RBC Blue Water Project, a 10-year, $50 million global philanthropic commitment to help protect freshwater.
Corporate Challenge • The AFN and Mining Association of Canada (MAC) discussed establishing a work relationship with AFN for almost two years. A MOU was completed at the Inter-Nation Trade and Economic Summit in March. • Corporate partners include: Siemens Canada, Bell Canada, Labourers’ International Union of North America, and LIUNA local 92, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, Forest Products Association of Canada, and the Mining Association of Canada. • There are ongoing efforts to explore opportunities with the corporate sector, which include Enbridge, TransCanada, CN, and others.
Economic Research Table: Making First Nation Poverty History Committee • The National Chief established an academic advisory committee in support of the AFN’s work to make poverty history. The committee’s mandate: • Analysis of existing data on First Nation poverty • Develop a 3-5 year agenda of research • Advise the AFN on effective evidence-based strategies • Other special assignments as required (e.g., paper on the State of the First Nation Economy for the Inter-nation Trade and Economic Summit)
Committee Composition • Dr. Fred Wien, Social Work, Dalhousie University • James Hopkins, National Aboriginal Economic Development Chair, University of Victoria • Dr. John Loxley, Economics, University of Manitoba • David Newhouse, Indigenous Studies and Business Administration, Trent University • Dr. Lars Osberg, Economics, Dalhousie University • Dr. Jeff Reading, Institute of Aboriginal Peoples Health (CIHR) and the University of Victoria • Dr. Wanda Wuttunee, Native Studies and Asper School of Business, University of Manitoba • 1st major outcome: State of the First Nation Economy Paper and the Struggle to Make Poverty History (March 2009) • Research Agenda has been proposed as the next discussion topic
Inter-Nation Trade & Economic Summit • Event held on March 9 -11, 2009 in Toronto, Ontario • a multi-proponent event; • current state of the economy; • labour force development; • connectivity; • Networking opportunities; • Highlighting work under the corporate relations strategy; and, • the launch of First Nations and the state of the economy research paper by the CCED’s economic research table (also known as the Making Poverty History Committee)
…continued • In addition to the State of the First Nation Economy Paper being released, the event also introduced a cooperative trade efforts by First Nations, New Zealand Maori, and North American Indian representatives. • Over 800 persons attended • More than 50 speakers registered for the event • More than 20 corporate sponsors • The Government of Ontario was a key sponsor from the onset. • The report will be completed in the next two weeks.
New Federal Aboriginal Economic Framework • As a result of delays caused by the federal election and a prorogued parliamentary, announcements related to the federal framework were changed from December 2008 to the May-June 2009. • Five federal engagement (dialogue) events held across the country, along with a review of research papers, were considered a first phase of work. A second phase of dialogues will be started in the fall to bring detail to the framework’s proposed set up and programs. • Based on information being shared by INAC it appears that the new federal Aboriginal Economic Framework is primarily focused on a series of guiding factors to “coordinate the federal family”. • It appears the framework will address efforts to facilitate, measure, or focus federal departments’ programs and services to better support Aboriginal Economic Development.
…continued • In the first series of events, numerous First Nations participants communicated concern over the timing of events and limited preparation opportunity. The events were interrupted by the federal election. This approach is supposed to be corrected for the fall series of discussions. • Prior to any announcement on elements to support a new federal framework, on December 30, 2008, the federal government announced two pilot initiatives prior to its framework being developed: Loan Loss Reserve Fund and the Major Energy and Resource Program. Explanations that followed were that the federal government was acting on resources announced in the 2008 winter budget ($20M 2008-09; $50M 2009-10)
Human Resource Development • 50+ First Nation AHRDAs across Canada deliver First Nation employment, training, skill development and labour force support services (and are instrumental in the delivery of 330$M/year in resources) • The current strategy ends on March 31, 2010; federal officials are requesting policy authorities to design a new successor strategy. • National messages on prioritizing youth, skill development and employment have been communicated at many forums. • First Nation technicians have recommended focusing on: • Employment parity • Elevating the First Nation AHRDA and federal government relationship • Resources enhancement • Private Sector Engagement.
Human Resource Development • The First Nation Human Resources Development technical committee along with peers participate in a Joint HRD Table with the federal government, namely Human Resources and Skills Development Canada. • First Nation technicians have raised strong concerns over a Request for Proposals (RFP) process that was proposed for a new strategy. It appears this message has been heard, as the proposed process has been significantly diminished. ere has been successful movement to reduce and potentially
Connectivity • An ad-hoc table of technology experts met in Toronto on March 30-31, 2009. • The technical services advisory group participated in the meeting. • Their work will be presented to the CCED which presently includes key themes and issues, a terms of reference, and elements of a national communications strategy to address portfolio issues on ITC coverage in communities. • The CCED will also be advancing work on better equipping the First Nation e-community.
Federal Stimulus Announcements • $40 Billion in federal budget Jan 27 aimed at stimulus • $20B in tax cuts and $20B in investments • $1.4 Billion identified for “Aboriginal” projects and programs • Numerous general investments in which First Nations would have an interest Planned investments toward the First Nation and Aboriginal community: • $1.44 Billion identified includes $915 Million in infrastructure construction • $400 Million for housing • $200 Million for school construction • $165 Million for drinking water • $135 Million for health facilities • $15 Million for policing • $1.44 Billion identified also includes $525 Million in program investments • $200 Million on skills development • $100 Million for ASEP • $25 Million for AHRDAs • $75 Million for new program on skills development • $305 Million for FNIHB • $20 Million for CFS