A top Indigenous leader in Manitoba says a new report validates Indigenous people as important contributors to the province.
The comment from M-K-O Grand Chief Garrison Settee follows the release of figures showing spending by Indigenous people, businesses and governments totalled more than $9 billion dollars
Indigenous spending in Manitoba totalled $9.3 billion in the year 2016, the equivalent of contributing 3.9% to the provincial GDP — greater than oil and gas (including mining), food and accommodations, or manufacturing.
“That impressive number begins to show the scale of ongoing Indigenous impact here in Manitoba,” said Bill Ashton, director of Brandon University’s Rural Development Institute (RDI), which partnered with the Southern Chiefs’ Organization Inc. (SCO) and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) to produce the report.
“The data is clear, Indigenous economic impact has enormous growth potential,” Ashton said. “Indigenous populations are some of the fastest-growing in Manitoba, and Indigenous economic impact will grow alongside it. Also, there is a lot of opportunity to increase economic development right now, both on-reserve and off-reserve, but also by expanding the opportunities provided by urban reserves.”
For the first time with this report, RDI gathered data and conducted research and analysis in accordance with the First Nations principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession.
The full report can be accessed online at BrandonU.ca/RDI/Projects/Indigenous-Economy.