State of the First Nation Economy Paper to be released Monday at Inter-Nation Trade and Economic Summit

    OTTAWA, March 5 /CNW Telbec/ - A major new study on The State of the
First Nation Economy - prepared independently for the Assembly of First
Nations by a panel of academics specializing in aboriginal economic and social
issues - will be released at the Inter-Nation Trade and Economic Summit in
Toronto this Monday.
    "In recent days, economists have coined this era as The Great Recession.
Not surprisingly, this paper states First Nations are the most vulnerable in
times of recession," said National Chief Phil Fontaine. "While there are a
growing number of economic success stories, our Peoples are still suffering
under the constraints of the dysfunctional Indian Act., which makes it
difficult for many of our communities to participate in Canada's economy.
    "Housing, clean water, and other infrastructure shortages abound,
especially in the more isolated communities. This paper states that
fragmentation and other shortcomings in federal policy and programs need to be
addressed immediately," said National Chief Fontaine. "We are still making a
difficult transition from colonial controls, assimilative measures, and
removal from our traditional lands and resource base.
    "The State of the First Nation Economy re-confirms the enormous potential
that our growing young population can make to Canada's economy if our children
have access to proper housing, schools, education and training," added the
National Chief. "When the economy turns around, and First Nations gain more
control of our territories, we can become equal partners in Canada's future

    The Inter-Nation Trade and Economic Summit runs from March 9-11 at the
Metro-Toronto Convention Centre. Among the over 70 guest speakers and
presenters are Dr. Lloyd Axworthy; economists Craig Wright (RBC), Don Drummond
(TD), and Jim Stanford (CAW); Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Brad
Duguid and Economic Development Minister Michael Bryant; Hydro One CEO Laura
Formusa; and Bay Street investment guru Eric Sprott. A special "Ignite Change"
presentation by Stephen Lewis and Thomas Homer-Dixon will be open to the
public Monday evening.

For further information:

For further information: on INTES, visit or contact: Bryan
Hendry, Senior Policy Advisor, Economic Partnerships, (613) 241-6789 ext. 229,
Cell (613) 293-6106,

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