On June 25, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce sat down with business and Indigenous leaders in Fredericton to listen and have a discussion regarding reconciliation, what role business can play and what reconciliation means to Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, as well as our communities and businesses.
“We were thrilled to be approached by the Canadian chamber to host one of three reconciliation roundtables they planned to host across the country,” said Fredericton Chamber CEO Krista Ross. “With many large and innovative Indigenous groups across New Brunswick and particularly in the Fredericton Region, it seemed like a great fit.”
The other two roundtables were held in Thunder Bay, Ontario and Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
The report states the importance of engaging Indigenous peoples in the broader economy:
“Indigenous peoples contribute billions of dollars to our economy annually and they are creating new businesses at five times the rate of non-Indigenous peoples. When combined with the fact that Indigenous peoples are the youngest, fastest growing demographic in Canada, ensuring they have the same opportunities to contribute to our economy is imperative. It is the only way Canada will be able to compete globally.”
As a result of the roundtable, the Fredericton chamber is launching an “Indigenous Task Force” in the fall to look closer at how the business community can better engage with our Indigenous partners. This task force will be co-chaired by Fredericton chamber president Karen Grant, owner and president at Kiers Marketing Group and board member Kim Nash-McKinley, Director of Economic Development for St. Mary’s First Nation. 364 York Street, Suite 200, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, E3B 3P7 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.frederictonchamber.ca Tel: (506) 458-8006 Fax: (506) 451-1119
“The participants at the roundtable, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous showed a real desire to keep the conversation going and that’s the overarching aim of the task force as we set out,” added Ross. “Through these conversations we hope to find actionable items to work on together and this report from the Canadian Chamber of Commerce is a great place to start.”
Read the complete report here.