Nova Scotia

Atlantic Canada Indigenous bands have $1.14B impact on national economy

A report co-funded by the federal government released Wednesday shows Indigenous band, business and household spending in Atlantic Canada tops $1.14 billion.

Nova Scotia's Indigenous population generates $63.3M in government tax revenue, report says

Many gathered at Dalhousie University Wednesday as the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chief Secretariat released results of a study that examined Indigenous band, business and household spending in Atlantic Canada. (CBC)

A report co-funded by the federal government and released Wednesday shows Indigenous band, business and household spending in Atlantic Canada tops $1.14 billion.

The report is meant to inform community and government economic policy, programming and business partnerships in the region. 

John Paul, executive director of The Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat, which conducted the research, presented the results at Dalhousie University.

"We are looking ahead," he said at a news conference. "We are looking at our children and our communities to build a better future.

"And as we build a better future, I can tell you that every community or person that lives near us or around us will also benefit equally."

The findings

Financial data from band operations in Atlantic Canada was analyzed. Community consultations and an online survey were also completed with businesses, band managers and communities. 

Economic activity on and off reserves was included. The study was conducted over last fall and winter. 

John Paul, the study's co-chair, helped present the results. (CBC)

The results include:

  • Indigenous economy created 16,733 full-time equivalent jobs.
  • $184.5 million of provincial and federal tax revenue is generated.
  • Nova Scotia's Indigenous people — a population of 16,543 — generates $63.3 million in government tax revenue.
  • $710.9 million in household income is generated.

Federal Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett also spoke to the crowd at Dalhousie University.

"Canadians from coast to coast to coast have to understand that today is about the opportunities that are there," Bennett said. 

The report will help shape future public policy, she said. 

"Just important, again, that we are bringing Canadians with us. As we explained this morning, the economic impact of First Nations communities is something that we don't talk about very much." 

See some of the results of the report here.

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