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Ontario Investing in Indigenous Jobs and Growth

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Ontario Investing in Indigenous Jobs and Growth

Province Expanding Aboriginal Economic Development Fund

Ministry of Indigenous Affairs

Ontario is expanding its investment in the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund, supporting new jobs and economic growth for Indigenous communities across the province.

In accordance with the government's commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the name of the program will also be changed to the Indigenous Economic Development Fund.

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, David Zimmer, made the announcement today while speaking at the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce.

Ontario will invest $70 million over the next seven years to extend the fund, originally launched in 2014. With a total combined investment of $95 million over ten years, the fund will continue to:

  • Help Indigenous communities develop long-term strategies to diversify their economies
  • Increase access to employment and training opportunities for Indigenous people
  • Provide access to financing to start and expand Indigenous businesses
  • Enable communities and businesses to collaborate on region-wide employment and skills training projects.

Partnering with Indigenous businesses and organizations is one of many steps on Ontario's journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects the government's commitment to work with Indigenous partners to create a better future for everyone in the province.

Investing in Indigenous economic development is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

Quick Facts

  • The Aboriginal Economic Development Fund has three funding streams: Regional Partnership Grants, Economic Diversification Grants and the Business and Community Fund.
  • To date, Ontario has funded 51 projects with Indigenous partners through the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund.
  • The Aboriginal Economic Development Fund is part of the Jobs and Prosperity Fund which is providing $2.7 billion over 10 years to enhance productivity, bolster innovation and grow Ontario's exports.
  • Aboriginal Financial Institutions are continuing to accept applications for grants, loans, equity and other financing products from the current phase of the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund until March 31, 2017.

Additional Resources


“We’re excited to announce additional funding of $70 million for the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund. These funds will help Indigenous businesses, communities and organizations create and expand job and economic opportunities across Ontario.”

David Zimmer

Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation

“Investing in Ontario’s Indigenous communities is an important part of our plan to grow our economy and create jobs. The Aboriginal Economic Development Fund is just one mechanism through which communities across Ontario have access to resources needed to develop skills, allow them to be innovative and be drivers of our economy now and in years to come.”

Brad Duguid

Minister of Economic Development and Growth

“Indigenous learners deserve increased access to high-quality employment and training opportunities to help them succeed. This investment will help ensure they are not only active participants, but a driving force in the labour market of tomorrow. We are all better off when we make investments like this to help people reach their full potential.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development

“I got a job in a mine in an underground position as a general labourer with a contracting company. I’m really lucky to have this job. I wouldn’t have this position if I hadn’t received help to complete the Basic Underground Hard Rock Miner Common Core certification program.”

Samantha James

participant in a partnership program between Wahgoshig First Nation, Northern College and Primero Mining Corporation with funding from the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund

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