Largest ever Indigenous Economic Summit to be hosted by Assembly of First Nations, March 9-11 in Toronto

    OTTAWA, Jan. 14 /CNW Telbec/ - In less than two months, 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 these uncertain economic times, First Nations have the potential to
make an enormous contribution to renew and revitalize the North American
economy," said National Chief Phil Fontaine. "With a growing land base and the
fastest growing segment of the Canadian population, we are positioned to be
major players in regional and national economic development."
    INTES will bring together First Nations and Indigenous leaders and
business communities, key players in Corporate Canada, international
stakeholders, federal and provincial ministers, and economic development
experts. This major event will examine and promote economic growth and
well-being in key economic regions.
    "The Ontario government is pleased to support the Inter Nation Trade and
Economic Summit in partnership with the Assembly of First Nations,' said Brad
Duguid, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs for Ontario. 'This important forum will
help us build the partnerships we need for Aboriginal people to become full
and essential participants in our economy."
    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 "entrepreneur evangelist" and CBC
Dragon's Den advisor Sean Wise; Bay Street investment guru Eric Sprott; CAW
economist Jim Stanford; and ultra-marathoner Ray Zahab, who set a world's
record reaching the South Pole last week.
    "In times of economic turmoil, First Nations shouldn't be regarded as,
first and foremost, vulnerable populations," said Mr. Homer-Dixon. "Rather, we
should see our First Nations as deeply resourceful communities that can
respond creatively to new challenges and teach the larger Canadian society how
to be resilient when coping with crisis."

For further information:

For further information: To see a draft agenda, and to register for the
conference or trade show, please click on the INTES link at For
more information, contact AFN Economic Partnerships Advisor Bryan Hendry at
(613_ 241-6789, ext. 229 or

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