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Supporting Economic Opportunities in Aboriginal Communities

Archived Backgrounder

Supporting Economic Opportunities in Aboriginal Communities

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

Ontario is helping First Nations, Métis communities and Aboriginal organizations build consultation capacity and explore new economic development activities.

Aboriginal communities and organizations pursued a number of projects through enhanced program funding from the New Relationship Fund in 2013-14:

Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians

  • Batchewana First Nation hired two coordinators to manage mining, aggregates and renewable energy consultation projects.

Grand Council Treaty #3

  • Eagle Lake First Nation hired a forest management liaison to enhance participation in forest tenure modernization to secure emerging opportunities in the forestry sector.
  • Miisun Integrated Resource Management Inc. trained two individuals to deliver services in support of forest operations.
  • Mitaanjigamiing First Nation hired a human resources coordinator and an economic development officer to develop the labour market and pursue economic development initiatives.
  • Naicatchewenin First Nation hired a resource coordinator to engage community members in consultations and projects occurring in the traditional land use area.
  • Naotkamegwanning First Nation hired a territorial planning officer to enhance natural resource capacity and engagement with government and industry.
  • Ochiichagwe'Babigo'ining Ojibway Nation trained five individuals on the collection of geographic information system (GIS) mapping data. A second project will see the trainees build and deliver a database of GIS information.
  • Wabaseemoong Independent Nations hired a community planning facilitator to provide a Traditional Ecological Knowledge document that will guide community-centred economic development in the lands and resource sector.
  • Wabigoon Lake Ojibway Nation hired a data management clerk for resource data collection, and a forestry coordinator for forestry and land use activities.
  • Wauzhushk Onigum Nation hired a resource coordinator for consultation meetings with the community to ensure that projects are fully understood by on- and off-reserve band members.

Métis Nation of Ontario

  • The Métis Nation of Ontario hired an economic development coordinator to support resource-based development opportunities and a traditional knowledge collection coordinator to inform on consultation activities and train Métis Nation of Ontario members in traditional knowledge and land use information collection.

Nishnawbe Aski Nation

  • Eabametoong First Nation hired a consultation and development committee coordinator to further community engagement in possible natural resource development opportunities.
  • Matachewan First Nation hired a planner to coordinate the delivery of on-site training to leadership staff and the community on consultation and strategic planning.
  • Mattagami First Nation hired a coordinator to complete mining sector economic development readiness activities, including a community skills assessment.
  • Mushkegowuk Tribal Council initiated the development of a geographic information system regional centre of expertise working with seven member First Nations.
  • Muskrat Dam First Nation hosted a week-long forum, bringing youth, Elders and lands and resource workers from neighbouring communities together to discuss capacity building, economic development and land use planning opportunities.
  • Neskantaga First Nation hired an economic development assistant to improve its participation in planning around proposed Ring of Fire developments.
  • Pikangikum First Nation supported the participation of community members in a partnership with Ontario Parks and the Ministry of Natural Resources to complete its dedicated protected management plan for the Whitefeather Forest.
  • Sachigo Lake First Nation hired a geographic information system technician to digitize 20 traditional knowledge interviews, geosciences information and resource inventory data.
  • Webequie First Nation is developing an industry transportation corridor to build capacity and ensure that the community is involved in talks with all levels of government and industry.

Union of Ontario Indians

  • Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek (Rocky Bay) First Nation trained First Nation youth from the Lake Nipigon area to become certified guides with the goal of pursuing employment opportunities in local resorts.
  • Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sand Point) First Nation hired a training coordinator to create and maintain a database of employment opportunities in the community.
  • The Chippewas of Georgina Island hired a geographic information system coordinator to build knowledge, capacity and efficiency within the First Nation for improving consultations with local municipalities.
  • The Chippewas of Kettle and Stony Point hired a communications assistant to undertake a treaty territory mapping initiative, as well as implement a stakeholder engagement strategy to increase information-sharing between the First Nation, all levels of government and industry.
  • Curve Lake First Nation hired an intergovernmental affairs coordinator to work with all levels of government, other First Nation communities and provincial-territorial organizations on a variety of issues.
  • Garden River First Nation hired a partnership and training project coordinator to help community members pursue skills-training opportunities in natural and renewable resources, tourism attraction and technical trades.
  • Nokiiwin Tribal Council hired a mining development coordinator to develop a strategic framework that will help four Lake Nipigon First Nations to better engage with mining companies, government and community members.
  • Papasay Management Corporation hired a general manager to work with the board of directors in building organizational capacity to support economic development initiatives.
  • Pic Mobert First Nation hired an energy sector consultation coordinator to build capacity and relationships with all levels of government and the private sector.
  • Thessalon First Nation hired two special project officers to advance a range of business development opportunities.
  • Wawasum Group Limited hired a project manager to help manage their provincial wood allocation, as well as lead the development of a wood pellet production facility.


  • Grand River Employment and Training Inc. trained five Aboriginal students in environmental monitoring and impact assessment to assist the Haudenosaunee Development Institute on local green energy projects.
  • The Mohawk Council of Akwesasne hired a project officer to oversee a construction demolition project. An intergovernmental liaison was also hired to provide research and development services, technical support and advice, and to liaise with government and First Nations.
  • Walpole Island First Nation hired a project review coordinator to process the large number of consultation requests the community receives each year.

The New Relationship Fund is also continuing to support consultation coordinators in each of these communities to enhance engagement with government and industry on lands and resources matters.

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