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Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business releases Trading Nations: Supporting International Indigenous-To-Indigenous Trade Policy Development

Press Release

Toronto – Sept. 19, 2023 – As the Canadian government continues to voice its commitment to make advancements towards economic reconciliation, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) has released a comprehensive report on the state of trade policy development and its impact on the Indigenous economy.

Trading Nations: Supporting International Indigenous-To-Indigenous Trade Policy Development was released today to provide background, context and recommendations necessary to move Indigenous trade opportunities forward.

“Indigenous international trade is often overlooked due to the absence of data and research, and this has created a lack of targeted policies, regulatory barriers and challenges for Indigenous businesses to enter into trade,” says Matthew Foss, CCAB Vice President of Research and Public Policy. “Facilitating Indigenous trade needs to be a priority, and this report points to specific actions that can be taken to achieve that.

The seven-section, 52-page report provides an overview of Indigenous trade and export, an examination of the rights of Indigenous peoples, current provisions and examples of initiatives, as well as recommendations.

Government research has shown that increasing access to markets for Indigenous businesses is key to closing economic gaps between Indigenous peoples and the non-Indigenous population, which economic analysis conducted by the National Indigenous Economic Development Board, has reported would grow the Canadian economy by $27.67 billion.

To facilitate Indigenous trade, the report found there is a need to:

  • Gather and distribute Indigenous exporter data.
  • Build the capacity of Indigenous organizations and businesses to engage in trade efforts and build connections with prospective foreign buyers and business partners.
  • Support Indigenous organizations to provide Indigenous export development training and opportunities.
  • Increase access to finance, infrastructure, and affordable logistics.
  • Foster necessary connections between Indigenous entities and government organizations such as the Canadian Border Service Agency (CBSA) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC), as well as mutually beneficial Indigenous business relationships.

The report also looks at the potential impact of incentivizing economic and private investment in Indigenous communities and businesses, protections for Indigenous traditional knowledge and cultural expressions, the effective use of free trade agreements, and many other topics.

It isn’t only about progressive trade policy though, says Foss. “Policymakers must view this as an act of economic reconciliation, which means it is essential to include Indigenous peoples as meaningful participants in the Canadian economy.”

The trade policy recommendations outlined in the report were compiled after significant engagements with international and domestic Indigenous leaders and subject matter experts.

The findings from the Indigenous Trade Policy Advisory Council (ITPAC), CCAB’s engagement efforts, and a review of current trade policies and agreements informed the policy recommendations.

You can read the full report here.


Media contacts:

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
Alannah Jabokwoam
Senior Associate, Communications & Public Relations
T: 416-961-8663 ext. 227


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