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Indigenous Entrepreneurship and First Nations Economic Development Opportunities Receive Support

by ahnationtalk on November 17, 201797 Views

November 17, 2017 – Fredericton, NB – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

The Joint Economic Development Initiative (JEDI) provides a variety of programs and services focused on supporting Indigenous entrepreneurship, community economic development, workforce development, and partnerships with the public and private sector.

Thanks to investments of more than $2.2 million over two years from the federal and provincial governments, JEDI will continue to strengthen Indigenous participation in the New Brunswick economy. Funding will be provided for community economic development, entrepreneurship training and support, the Indigenous Internship Program, JEDI plenaries and communications as well as the ongoing Indigenous Business Accelerator Program.

TJ Harvey, Member of Parliament for Tobique-Mactaquac, on behalf of both the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Honourable Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services, along with the Honourable Roger Melanson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, President of Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs, made the funding announcement today.

The Government of Canada is investing a total of over $2 million in this pan-provincial initiative including $1,024,690 from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada with a portion of this funding via the Strategic Partnerships Initiative and $994,476 from ACOA’s Business Development Program. The Government of New Brunswick is also contributing $210,000 toward this initiative.

These investments build on the federal and provincial governments’ Atlantic Growth Strategy, which is designed to help Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs compete internationally, grow their businesses and create jobs at home. One of the five pillars in the Strategy entails building a skilled workforce through immigration and labour market participation by underemployed Canadians, including under-represented groups such as Indigenous peoples, older workers, women, youth and persons with disabilities.


“The Government of Canada is pleased to invest in JEDI to help build a stronger entrepreneurial community that fully involves Indigenous participation and stimulates greater economic opportunities throughout New Brunswick’s First Nations communities.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Our Government continues to take steps to encourage job creation and economic growth for all Canadians and JEDI is a key partner in this goal. The Economic and Strategic Partnerships Initiative funding provides the support which will enable Indigenous businesses to take advantage of meaningful economic opportunities and create stronger business relationships via the Indigenous Business Accelerator Program.”

– The Honourable Jane Philpott, M.D., P.C., M.P., Minister of Indigenous Services

“First Nations communities are significant drivers of economic growth throughout New Brunswick. Our government values our relationship with First Nations Chiefs, community members and indeed our partnership with the Joint Economic Development Initiative. It is truly a pleasure to work with JEDI to create opportunities and foster economic development in First Nations communities.”

– The Honourable Roger Melanson, Minister of Post-Secondary Education, President of Treasury Board and Minister responsible for Aboriginal Affairs

“The Joint Economic Development Initiative has been working with partners to foster economic and workforce development for Indigenous peoples and communities in New Brunswick for over 20 years. This two-year Funding Agreement from ACOA and the Province of New Brunswick provides us with additional financial stability and allows us to focus our efforts on helping our Indigenous clients. The support that we receive from our funders is crucial to our continued work and carrying out JEDI’s vision of striving for full Indigenous participation in the New Brunswick economy.”

– Alex Dedam, President, Joint Economic Development Initiative

Quick Facts

  • Established in 1995, JEDI is a tripartite partnership implemented by Indigenous communities and the federal and provincial governments to identify and encourage undertakings designed to stimulate economic development in Indigenous communities within New Brunswick. The not-for-profit organization is a unique forum of open dialogue that brings together representatives from New Brunswick’s Indigenous communities, government, as well as the private sector.
  • This week, some 160 countries around the world are celebrating Global Entrepreneurship Week. Entrepreneurs are the backbone of the economy in Atlantic Canada. There are 85,000 small- and medium-sized enterprises operating in Atlantic Canada that make up over 99% of businesses in the region. These businesses provide the biggest potential for continued job creation and economic growth.


Paul CJ LeBlanc
Senior Communications Officer
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Michael MacDonald
Communications Officer
Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada

Bonnie Doyle Creber
Intergovernmental Affairs & Post-Secondary Education

Gwen McIntyre
Communications Manager
Joint Economic Development Initiative


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