Pacific Partnerships: Connecting Indigenous People in Canada to Opportunities in Asia
In the lead up to the Nation 2 Nation Forum, held in Vancouver on March 30, 2017, BC Assembly of First Nations Acting Regional Chief Maureen Chapman stated: “As the economic importance of the Asia Pacific grows, B.C. First Nations face significant opportunities for economic development partnerships.”
Chief Chapman’s observations about B.C. could be extended to the potential for growing Asia Pacific-Aboriginal economic development partnerships across the country, from coast to coast to coast. Interest from Asia has been increasing in and around Aboriginal communities across the country. Aboriginal people are of the youngest and fastest growing demographic groups in Canada; their communities and businesses will play an increasingly important part in the Canadian economy and its workforce. And Aboriginal-Asia relations will likely continue to grow as an important component of the broader Canada-Asia dynamic.
One way to help ensure that these cross-Pacific relations are beneficial to both sides would be to develop Aboriginal-related training for Asian stakeholders and Asia-related training for Indigenous business leaders and communities.