How can we increase the impact of the Indigenous economy?

The CommAlert Group is a First Nations business, and we believe that Indigenous peoples are essential to the economic prosperity of Alberta. We already know that Indigenous companies significantly impact our economy, but that impact can be greater if we all work together.

ATB Financial partnered with MNP to create and release a detailed report about the current economic footprint of Indigenous peoples in Alberta. This report is a tool for identifying opportunities, debunking myths, and learning how to work together to lessen the disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people and businesses.

Learning together, working together, and uplifting one another are critical aspects of reconciliation.

View the report

“….We all need to come together so we can share, so we can grow, and then we can uplift one another, because that’s what reconciliation is about.”

Samatha Crowe

Expression of reconciliation offered by Samantha Crowe, representing Feathers of Hope, at the Truth and Reconciliation Alberta National Event as reported in Honoring the Truth, Reconciling for the Future. Summary of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. 2015 p. 291

Key Takeaways

While we can’t summarize the entire report, we’ve compiled a list of key take-aways.

The identified Indigenous population in Alberta is approximately 313,000 people, and that population’s household income comes to about $7.5 billion. That makes the Indigenous population in Alberta such an incredible economic opportunity for business in the province.

But, there’s enormous employment and income disparity between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. For example, the average income of an Indigenous person in Alberta is $44,232 compared to $63,853 for the non-Indigenous population.

How can we close that gap?

First, increase Indigenous participation in the labour market by making education and training accessible. In addition, we can find ways to increase Indigenous entrepreneurship and support the growth of Indigenous-owned businesses!

If we can close that gap, every billion dollars of household spending would support about 4,600 jobs and generate $200 million in tax revenues for all three levels of government. It would increase household spending by $2.5 and $3 billion in Alberta annually. Plus, it would support between 11,500 and 14,000 jobs and generate yearly tax revenues between $500 and $600 million. That’s incredible!

The report includes details on how researchers calculated these figures. It also shares more about the importance of the Indigenous economy in Alberta. Please download and read the report: Opening the Door to Opportunity.