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August 12, 2022
Most Indigenous peoples and nations are not opposed to resource development. In fact, almost every Indigenous community is involved at some level in forestry, commercial fishing, agriculture, oil and gas or mining already.
What we are opposed to is being left out. For over a century, resources were extracted from our territories without our say and without our benefit. That was never acceptable; now, it’s no longer legal. But we are not looking to grind resource development in Canada to a halt. We are looking for opportunities to get involved: as workers, contractors, partners and owners.
One huge opportunity is to create an Indigenous Loan Guarantee program to address what is identified again and again as a main barrier to our economic development: limited access to capital. Because of Indian Act provisions and other historic challenges, most Indigenous communities lack the ability to get financing so they can get involved in business. You need money to make money.