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First Nations community economic development guide

Learn how to build and strengthen the local economy in your community. This guide provides practical advice, case studies and economic development resources.

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Introduction

The First Nations Community Economic Development Guide for Ontario was developed by the Indigenous-owned consulting group Stonecircle Consulting (now part of NVision Insight Group Inc.) for the Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, with extensive input from First Nations economic development officers and First Nations leaders in community economic development across Ontario. The Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation provided funding and leadership for the production of this document. The guide was developed as part of responding to a series of recommendations from First Nations partners for supporting First Nations community economic development and capacity building. Stonecircle Consulting and NVision Insight Group Inc. are not affiliated with the Government of Ontario.

How this guide can help

First Nations economic development practitioners may have limited time for training and professional development. Some economic development practitioners may be the only person assigned to work on economic development in a community, and some may be responsible for a range of other portfolios as well. The goal of this guide is to support First Nations economic development practitioners in Ontario by offering an accessible selection of practical advice, case studies and community economic development resources. The hope is that this guide will help you build and strengthen your local economies, however that may look for your particular community.

How to use this guide

The chapters of this guide cover key elements of community economic development: planning for economic development, building institutional and workforce capacity, identifying and pursuing economic development projects, and collaborations in economic development.

In each chapter, you will find information and advice gathered from First Nations economic development experts intended to help you advance your community’s own economic development efforts.

This guide also includes case studies of unique examples of successful First Nations community economic development in Ontario, which offer learning and best practices that may be applied in your community.

This guide only scratches the surface of First Nations economic development and therefore includes references to other valuable resources and tools for you to explore. Throughout the guide, and in a dedicated section at the end, you will find references and links to these additional resources, including other guides, reports and toolkits, as well as links to economic development programs and key economic development organizations.

Notice to readers

The information in this publication is provided for general educational and informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as business, legal or other advice. Although we endeavour to ensure that the information is as current and accurate as possible, errors do occasionally occur. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information. Readers should, where possible, verify the information before acting on it. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Ontario.

There are websites linked to and from this publication that are operated or created by or for organizations outside of the Government of Ontario. Those organizations are solely responsible for the operation and information (including the right to display such information) found on their respective websites. These linked websites may or may not be available in French. The linking to or from this publication does not imply on the part of the Government of Ontario any endorsement or guarantee of any of the organizations or information (including the right to display such information) found on their respective websites. Any comments or inquiries regarding the linked websites are to be directed to the particular organization for whom the particular website is being operated.

Updated: May 02, 2022
Published: May 03, 2018