Ontario Regional Chief Hare welcomes $25 million First Nations economic development

TORONTO—Ontario Regional Chief Glen Hare welcomes the government of Ontario’s $25 million investment over the next three years to support economic development in First Nation communities.

“I am pleased to announce the government of Ontario’s $25 million investment over the next three years to support economic development in First Nations communities,” said Ontario Regional Chief Hare. “This investment will stimulate post-pandemic recovery and build prosperous First Nations communities. It is also an opportunity to create long-term solutions rooted in mutual respect and collaboration, to ensure First Nations are successful on a local, regional, national and global level.”

“Indigenous communities welcome this funding to help businesses and organizations. First Nations communities continue to struggle to recover after the COVID-19 pandemic, and this funding will assist with the economic recovery and development for business and entrepreneurs,” said Chief Hare.

Funding for 2022-2023 will flow through established programs and leverage Indigenous partnerships. Over three years, funding will include: $10 million to increase access to low-interest loans and grants for Indigenous businesses and entrepreneurs, $2.5 million for capital to support digitalization and e-commerce, $800,000 to map and better understand issues within Ontario’s Indigenous supply chain and facilitate solutions to increase opportunities for Indigenous businesses in Ontario, $7.7 million in funding to support economic development training opportunities in communities, and $4 million to reduce financial barriers for Indigenous apprentices.

“Our government is proud to invest in Indigenous businesses, help create jobs, and support opportunities to modernize business practices in Indigenous communities across the province,” said Greg Rickford, minister of Indigenous Affairs. “We understand the unique challenges Indigenous businesses, communities and organizations continue to face as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. We remain committed to providing lasting supports by investing in local economies.”

“It is through a strategic, First Nations-led mechanism called the First Nations Economic Growth and Prosperity Table (Prosperity Table), a joint table with the government of Ontario, which enabled us to secure this investment and move forward on our shared priority of achieving economic growth for all Ontarians,” said Regional Chief Hare. “Our partnership through the prosperity table allowed us to achieve this milestone and support First Nations-led economic development, prosperity, and wealth creation that respects the diversity of First Nations communities, Treaty, and inherent rights.”

“I look forward to continuing our important work on our shared priority of achieving economic growth for First Nations and all Ontarians and strengthening our growing relationship with Premier (Doug) Ford and his cabinet,” added Chief Hare.