Pursuant to the Federal government’s commitment to build renewed nation-to-nation relations with Indigenous peoples, the objective of the event was for the federal government to work closer with the Indigenous peoples on international trade and investment initiatives going forward, and to provide a forum in which Indigenous representatives could provide meaningful input towards the development of an enhanced federal-Indigenous international trade and investment engagement strategy.
MNC President Chartier stated that Canada’s international trade and investment policy should be consistent with the nation-to-nation relationship that is being developed between Canada and the Métis Nation. Accordingly, the rights and interests of the Métis Nation should be built into Canada’s approach to international trade and investment. Chartier supported measures in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the free trade agreement with Canada’s Asia-Pacific trade partners currently being considered for adoption by the federal government, that shield key policies and programs that contribute to Métis economic development such as set-asides for Métis businesses in government procurement policies.
More broadly, he stated the Métis Nation sought an expanded relationship with Canadian trade offices worldwide to assist in identifying new export markets for Métis products and services and to facilitate meetings with potential partners and investors for Métis Nation economic and business projects which require significant amounts of capital. On this note, he referenced the signing of an agreement in Beijing a few days ago, with the Prime Minister on hand as witness, by President David Chartrand of the Manitoba Metis Federation and the president of a Chinese housing developer that will be making a multi-million dollar investment in a housing manufacturing plant in Manitoba using green technology for the construction and repair of homes in Indigenous and remote communities (see related article).
Chartier also encouraged the federal government to leverage its nation-to-nation relationship with the Indigenous peoples in Canada and inter-Indigenous relationships at the international level to get in on the ground floor of development in emerging markets, particularly in the Americas. He said Canada should financially support the establishment of an Americas-wide Indigenous representative body that would bring Canadian best practices such as consultation and accommodation to other parts of the Americas, including the Andean countries that are included in TPP, where Canadian banks and resource corporations are major players.
He also called for the revitalization of the Indigenous Peoples Partnership Program (IPPP) established by a former Liberal government and subsequently disbanded by the Harper government, that enabled Canadian Indigenous peoples to work with Indigenous communities in South and Central America on social and economic development projects.
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Media Source: CBC News