International trade protocol agreement and infrastructure funding to be featured at Assembly of First Nations Economic Summit



    OTTAWA, Feb. 12 /CNW Telbec/ - The Assembly of First Nations will be
hosting the largest-ever Indigenous economic development conference in Canada.
The Inter-Nation Trade and Economic Summit (INTES) will be held March 9-11,
2009 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
    "In this era of economic turmoil, First Nations have the potential to
re-invent and revitalize the North American economy, from supplying green
energy to developing a new generation of entrepreneurs," said National Chief
Phil Fontaine. "The infrastructure funding announced in last month's federal
budget for First Nations housing, schools, connectivity, and clean water will
help lay the groundwork for long-term economic growth in our communities."
    INTES will bring together First Nations and Indigenous leaders, business
communities, key players in Corporate Canada, international stakeholders,
federal and provincial officials, U.S. State Department officials, and
economic development experts. A trade protocol between First Nations in
Canada, American Indians, and Maori, will be signed. A State of the First
Nations Economy report will also be released.
    INTES will open with a special "Ignite Change" presentation by former UN
ambassador Stephen Lewis, and internationally acclaimed economist Thomas
Homer-Dixon. Other guest speakers include RBC chief economist Craig Wright;
Hydro One CEO Laura Formusa; CBC Dragon's Den advisor Sean Wise; Bay Street
investment guru Eric Sprott; CAW economist Jim Stanford; as well as economic
advisers to the Apache and Seminole Nations.
    "Last month I met with officials from both President Obama's transition
team and the National Congress of American Indians," said National Chief
Fontaine. "We discussed the unique relationship between First Nations and
American Indians and how we can work together in renewing the North American
economy. I also shared our comprehensive economic plan that addresses
structural change and better accountability from all levels of government. Our
plan is good for First Nations, good for Canada, and good for North America."

    Inform. Inspire. Ignite. INTES 2009, March 9-11, Metro-Toronto Convention
Centre




For further information:

For further information: Bryan Hendry, AFN Economic Partnerships
Advisor, (613) 241-6789, ext. 229, bhendry@afn.ca; To see a draft agenda, and
to register for the conference or trade show, please click on the INTES link
at www.afn.ca


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