Ontario Invests $175,000 In Indigenous Economic Development With The Mohawks Of Akwesasne

Ennisko:wa/ March 11, 2016

Ontario is helping to create jobs and new economic development opportunities for Indigenous communities in Eastern Ontario.

Through the Aboriginal Economic Development Fund (AEDF), Ontario is investing more than $175,000 to help establish the new Experience Akwesasne Welcome Centre located at the Peace Tree Trade Centre on Kawehno:ke (Cornwall Island).

While visiting with the Mohawks of Akwesasne community today, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Zimmer toured the Experience Akwesasne Welcome Centre. The centre opened to visitors in October 2015 and features local artists, promotes local businesses and supports local tourism and events.

Supporting economic development for Indigenous communities is one of many steps on Ontario’s journey of healing and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. It reflects the government’s commitment to work with Indigenous partners, creating a better future for everyone in the province.

Partnering with Indigenous organizations is also part of the government's plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in people's talents and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovation, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.

QUOTES

“The Aboriginal Economic Development Fund is helping Indigenous businesses, communities and organizations create, diversify and collaborate. The Experience Akwesasne Welcome Centre helps to increase local economic activity and help to ensure a prosperous and bright future for the community.”

— David Zimmer, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs

“Investing in Ontario’s Aboriginal communities is an important part of our plan to grow our economy and create jobs. The Aboriginal Economic Development Fund is just one mechanism through which communities across Ontario have access to resources needed to develop skills, allow them to be innovative and be drivers of our economy now and in years to come. I am proud of what the Experience Akwesasne Welcome Centre has accomplished already and I look forward to following more of its successes in the future.”

— Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure

"We are pleased to have been able to partner with Ontario to bring the Akwesasne Welcome Centre to fruition. The welcome centre gives the traveling public a place to stop into and learn more about our community and also see artwork from the many Akwesasronon artisans from within the community. The opening of our new welcome centre is just another step forward we are taking in working with our partners to raise the positive profile of our community."

— Abram Benedict, Grand Chief Mohawk Council of Akwesasne

QUICK FACTS

  • Ontario is investing $25 million over three years in Indigenous businesses and communities through the AEDF.
  • To date, Ontario has funded 43 projects with Indigenous partners through the AEDF.
  • Ontario has also partnered with six Aboriginal financial institutions to deliver the AEDF Business and Community Fund, which provides grants for economic capacity-building projects in Indigenous communities and business financing for promising community projects and Indigenous-owned businesses.
  • Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs are encouraged to contact their local Aboriginal financial institutions to discuss funding for their prospective business projects through the Business and Community Fund.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The Aboriginal Economic Development Fund