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Ontario Invests in Aboriginal Economic Development in Northwestern Ontario

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Ontario Invests in Aboriginal Economic Development in Northwestern Ontario

Helping Aboriginal Communities Plan for Growth, New Opportunities

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

Ontario is supporting economic development opportunities for Aboriginal communities in northwestern Ontario.

Through the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund (AEDF), the province is investing in 16 projects that will help create jobs, support new skills training opportunities and improve economic outcomes for Aboriginal people.  

The projects represent a range of opportunities aimed at encouraging economic diversification, from providing training opportunities for Aboriginal people in forestry, construction and mining, to supporting Aboriginal communities as they develop tourism plans and regional trail networks.

Supporting economic development for Aboriginal communities is part of the government's plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

Quick Facts

  • The Aboriginal Economic Development Fund (AEDF) is investing $25 million over three years in Aboriginal businesses and communities. Ontario has also partnered with six Aboriginal financial institutions to deliver the AEDF Business and Community Fund, which provides grants for economic capacity-building projects in Aboriginal communities, and business financing for promising community projects and Aboriginal-owned businesses.
  • Ontario previously announced Economic Diversification Grants to support four projects in northeastern Ontario and two projects in the Kenora area.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“The AEDF is helping Aboriginal businesses, communities and organizations create, diversify and collaborate. We’re excited to announce support for more projects that will help Aboriginal communities, businesses and organizations plan for future prosperity in northwestern Ontario.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

“Our government is committed to breaking down barriers to employment and skills training for Ontario’s Aboriginal learners. Working with local communities to ensure Aboriginal people have access to the education and skills training they need is a strong investment in Ontario’s economic future. With the support of the AEDF, we can make sure even more Aboriginal people get the chance to develop their skills and talents.”

Reza Moridi

Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities

“This initiative will provide First Nation citizens with the stepping stones required to build skills and gain the knowledge needed to realize their career goals in the trades. It’s important that we continue to be the leader in the development of training programs that meet the needs of the First Nation communities we serve.”

John DeGiacomo

Executive Director of Anishinabek Employment and Training Services

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