Economic development resources

Aboriginal Cultural Tourism Business Planning Guide: Checklist for Success, Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia

A handbook to assist First Nation communities in developing tourism-based enterprises.

BC First Nations Land Use Planning: Effective Practices, New Relationship Trust

A guide that outlines a land use planning process that can provide guidance for your community’s land use planning process in Ontario.

CCP Handbook ­– Comprehensive Community Planning for First Nations in British Columbia, Government of Canada

A handbook to assist communities in British Columbia with the comprehensive community planning process that you can adapt for your needs in Ontario.

Community and Commerce: A Survey of Aboriginal Economic Development Corporations in Ontario, Research Report Spring 2013, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Research findings on Aboriginal Economic Development Corporations in Ontario.

Developing Business Plans and Funding Proposals, AFOA Canada

A paper intended to help readers better understand the business planning process and the key elements of an effective business plan.

Economic Development Toolkit for First Nations Economic Development Officers, Chiefs and Councils and Community Members – Basic Information and Guide, Industry Council for Aboriginal Business

An economic development toolkit that covers topics such as economic development and business structures, roles for Chief and Council and Economic Development Officers and economic development strategies.

First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act, Government of Canada

More information on the federal First Nations Commercial and Industrial Development Act.

First Nations Economic Development Readiness Questionnaire, Government of Ontario

A questionnaire that First Nations communities can use to understand their economic development capacity and inform their planning initiatives.

First Nations Fiscal Management Act, Government of Canada

More information on the federal First Nations Fiscal Management Act, as well as the First Nations Finance Authority, the First Nations Financial Management Board and the First Nations Tax Commission.

First Nations Land Management Regime, Government of Canada

More information on the First Nations Land Management Regime.

Gaining Momentum: Sharing 96 Best Practices of First Nations Comprehensive Community Planning, New Relationship Trust

A guide that supports and guides First Nations’ efforts in comprehensive community planning.

Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development, Harvard University

A study of social and economic development on American Indian reservations, including what works, where and why.

IBA Community Toolkit: Negotiation and Implementation of Impact and Benefit Agreements, The Gordon Foundation

A toolkit designed for communities engaged in negotiating Impact and Benefit Agreements with mining companies.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada Governance Tools for Communities, Government of Canada

This webpage provides links to a number of tools that may assist Indigenous communities with core governance functions.

Indigenous Business Development Toolkit, Government of Ontario

A toolkit developed for Indigenous people who are starting or expanding a business.

Journey to Success: Aboriginal Women’s Business Planning Guide, Government of Canada

A guide to assist Indigenous women in finding success in the world of business.

Measuring Up! Performance Measurement for Economic Development, Government of Ontario

Request a copy by calling the Agricultural Contact Information Centre, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs at 1-877-424-1300

A resource for economic development professionals that outlines performance measurement concepts and processes and helps develop the skills required to integrate performance measurement into an economic planning process.

Minding Our Own Businesses: how to create support in First Nations communities for Aboriginal Business, The Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University

An investigation into First Nations initiatives to support small business operators.

Municipal-Aboriginal Relationships: Case Studies, Government of Ontario

Case studies providing examples of Indigenous communities and municipalities building strong, respectful relationships.

A guide designed by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association to assist First Nations in pursuing renewable energy projects.

Orientation to the Occupation of Aboriginal Economic Development Officer, Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers

A guidebook with information about the occupation of Aboriginal Economic Development Officer.

Stronger Together: A Toolkit for First Nations-Municipal Community Economic Development Partnerships, Federation of Canadian Municipalities

A resource with stories and lessons learned from joint First Nations-municipal community economic development.

The Anishinabek Nation Economy: Our Economic Blueprint, Anishinabek Nation

The Anishinabek Nation’s basic steps, recommendations and examples for how Anishinabek Nation communities can achieve economic success.

The Community Strategic Planning Toolkit, Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund

Guidance and exercises to support community strategic planning.

Economic development organizations

AFOA Canada

AFOA Canada supports capacity development and day-to-day needs of Indigenous finance, management, band administration, leadership and program management professionals.

Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC)

BDC is a bank dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs, offering consulting and financial services for Indigenous businesses.

Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association

The Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association is an Indigenous organization that works to increase awareness of the Indigenous mining industry.

Canadian Centre for Community Renewal

The Canadian Centre for Community Renewal is an organization that works with communities to increase their resilience and capacity, emphasizing strengthening the self-reliance of local and regional economies.

Canadian Executive Services Organization

The Canadian Executive Services Organization is an international economic development organization that provides communities and organizations with mentorship and advice on how to develop long-term prosperity.

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business fosters sustainable business relations between First Nations, Inuit and Métis people and Canadian business.

Community Future Development Corporations (CFDCs)

CFDCs offer a wide variety of programs and services supporting community economic development and small business growth.

Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO)

CANDO provides programs and services, such as courses, custom training options and certifications, to Indigenous economic development officers.

First Nation Finance Authority (FNFA)

The FNFA provides investment options, capital planning advice and access to long-term loans with preferable interest rates to First Nations governments.

First Nations Financial Management Board (FNFMB)

The FNFMB provides financial management tools and services for First Nations governments to strengthen their financial management and reporting systems to support economic and community development.

First Nations Land Management Resource Centre

The First Nations Land Management Resource Centre is the First Nations Lands Advisory Board’s service delivery organization, and provides services and resources to support First Nations implementing land governance over their reserve lands through the First Nation Land Management Regime.

First Nations Tax Commission (FNTC)

The FNTC helps First Nation governments build and maintain fair and efficient property tax regimes to ensure First Nations communities and their taxpayers receive the maximum benefit from these systems.

First Nations Bank of Canada

The First Nations Bank of Canada provides financial services to Indigenous people and advocates for the growth of the Indigenous economy and the economic well-being of Indigenous people.

National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA)

NACCA is a network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions dedicated to stimulating economic growth for Indigenous people in Canada.

National Aboriginal Land Managers Association (NALMA)

NALMA provides tools and resources to support First Nations Land Managers’ technical and professional development. On this site you can also find information on the Ontario Aboriginal Lands Association, which provides networking, peer support and training opportunities for First Nations Land Managers in Ontario.

Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres (OFIFC)

OFIFC is a provincial Indigenous organization representing the collective interests of member Friendship Centres located in towns and cities across the province. OFIFC provides a number of services to Indigenous people, including access to employment and business support programs.

Ontario First Nations Economic Developers’ Association (OFNEDA)

OFNEDA provides networking, training opportunities and research on First Nations economic development for its membership, which includes economic development officers and other First Nations economic development professionals.

Ontario First Nations Technical Services Corporation (OFNTSC)

The OFNTSC provides technical and advisory services to all First Nations in Ontario in a variety of areas, including emergency management, engineering, environment, housing, infrastructure, operation and maintenance, and wastewater.

Economic development programs

The BDC provides funds and tools for Indigenous entrepreneurs who choose to start their own business.

Capital for Aboriginal Prosperity and Entrepreneurship (CAPE) Fund

CAPE Fund’s mission is to further a culture of economic independence, ownership, entrepreneurship and enterprise management among Indigenous peoples on or off reserve through the creation and growth of successful businesses.

Government of Canada: Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development (ABED)

ABED delivers funding for Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities for business development support, through a partnership between the Government of Canada and Aboriginal Financial Institutions.

Government of Canada: Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

FedDev Ontario delivers programming to help create, retain and grow businesses, cultivate partnerships and build strong communities across Southern Ontario.

Government of Canada: FedNor

FedNor works with Northern Ontario businesses and community partners to support community economic development, business growth and competitiveness and innovation.

Government of Canada: Community Opportunity Readiness Program

The Community Opportunity Readiness Program addresses the financial needs of Indigenous communities when they are in pursuit of, and wish to participate in, an economic opportunity.

Government of Canada: First Nations Infrastructure Fund

The First Nation Infrastructure Fund helps First Nation communities improve and increase public infrastructure to improve the quality of life and the environment for First Nation communities.

Government of Canada: Lands and Economic Development Services Program

The Lands and Economic Development Services Program (LEDSP) offers different types of funding to help First Nations deliver economic development services; assume greater control of reserve lands, resources and the environment; and build capacity to effectively manage their lands in accordance with the First Nations Land Management Act.

Government of Canada: Professional and Institutional Development Program

The Professional and Institutional Development Program funds projects that develop the capacity of First Nations to perform core functions of government such as planning and risk management, leadership, basic administration and financial management.

Government of Canada: Procurement Strategy for Aboriginal Business

A federal government strategy to increase Aboriginal business access to federal contracting opportunities and the federal procurement process.

Government of Ontario: Aboriginal Loan Guarantee Program (ALGP)

The ALGP facilitates First Nations equity participation in the renewable energy sector by providing guarantees in support of renewable generation (wind, hydro, solar, biomass) and transmission projects.

Government of Ontario: Aboriginal Participation Fund (APF)

The APF supports Indigenous consultation capacity, education and relationship-building activities as they relate to mineral exploration and development.

Government of Ontario: Aboriginal Procurement Program

The Aboriginal Procurement Program promotes Indigenous economic development by increasing Government of Ontario contracting opportunities for businesses owned by First Nation, Métis and Inuit people.

Government of Ontario: Indigenous Community Capital Grants Program (ICCGP)

The ICCGP helps First Nations build or renovate needed community infrastructure by providing up to $3 million annually to support approved projects.

Government of Ontario: Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) / Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SODF)

The EODF and SODF provide funding to First Nations communities and businesses, Indigenous organizations, municipalities and other not-for-profit organizations for economic development in eastern and southwestern Ontario.

Government of Ontario: Indigenous Economic Development Fund

The Indigenous Economic Development Fund provides grants and financing to Aboriginal businesses and Indigenous communities and organizations to promote economic development and improve socio-economic outcomes for Indigenous people.

Government of Ontario: Local Poverty Reduction Fund

The Local Poverty Reduction Fund supports innovative, community-driven projects that measurably improve the lives of those most affected by poverty. These projects may include employment and training supports.

Government of Ontario: New Relationship Fund

The New Relationship Fund supports First Nations, Métis communities and Indigenous organizations in building capacity to consult and engage with governments and the private sector on lands and resources matters.

Government of Ontario: Northern Communities Investment Readiness

The Northern Communities Investment Readiness program provides conditional contributions to northern communities, First Nations and economic development corporations for activities that improve investment readiness or have the potential to attract investment.

Government of Ontario: Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC)

The NOHFC invests in northern businesses and communities through conditional contributions, forgivable performance loans, incentive term loans and loan guarantees.

Government of Ontario: Rural Economic Development Program

The Rural Economic Development program helps rural communities, including First Nations, undergo planning activities or implement projects that help remove barriers to community economic development.

Independent Electricity System Operator funding programs

The Independent Electricity System Operator has multiple funding programs that support Indigenous participation in energy opportunities, including renewable energy generation.