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Investing in Aboriginal peoples and communities can pay big dividends for Canadian business

Ottawa, December 17, 2013 — In a report issued today the Canadian Chamber of Commerce sheds light on a number of very successful initiatives currently underway to improve the participation of Aboriginal peoples in Canada’s workforce.

“Canadian businesses recognize that Canada’s Aboriginal peoples are a critical part of our future competitiveness,” said Perrin Beatty, President and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. “We want the success stories presented today to become the norm- not the exception anymore,” added Beatty.

In 2013, members of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce identified the participation of the Aboriginal peoples in our workforce as a priority area when addressing the skills gap. The report highlights how Canadian businesses and post secondary institutions committed to the following points have created win-win situations in communities across the country:

  • Keeping Aboriginal children in school;
  • Ensuring a successful transition for Aboriginal students from secondary to post-secondary education and/or training;
  • Ensuring education and training programs strive for the long term; and,
  • Focussing on results rather than paperwork.

Canada—its governments, peoples and businesses—has the means to leave behind the failures and disappointments related to the participation of Aboriginal peoples in its society and economy.

In this paper, we demonstrate that where need and will exist, success can be achieved efficiently with benefits for all concerned. Syncrude Canada, Rio Tinto, Suncor Energy are just a few examples of companies who work successfully with Aboriginal peoples and invest with them in the communities in which they operate. “Our hope is that these examples will be seen as practical steps the federal government and businesses can undertake in order to lead to more successes and fewer frustrations,” concluded Beatty.

The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is the vital connection between business and the federal government. It helps shape public policy and decision-making to the benefit of businesses, communities and families across Canada with a network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade, representing some 200,000 businesses of all sizes in all sectors of the economy and in all regions. News and information are available at

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