On November 29 and 30, the Bank of Canada, in partnership with the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics and Te Pūtea Matua (Reserve Bank of New Zealand), hosted the inaugural Symposium on Indigenous Economies.
The goal of the bi-annual conference is to share research, engage in meaningful discussion, and enhance collaboration among central banks and Indigenous partners. This year’s event brought together hundreds of Indigenous and non-Indigenous experts, researchers, and economists to discuss challenges and opportunities facing Indigenous economies today – including access to capital, resource development, and Indigenous businesses and labour markets.
Featuring more than 45 speakers, sessions over the two days focused on the experiences, history, contributions and barriers facing Indigenous peoples in Canada and around the world. Participants shared research on Indigenous history and economic systems and discussed the contemporary economic landscape. Policymakers from the Central Bank Network for Indigenous Inclusion (CBNII) explored how central banks can incorporate these learnings into their own organizations and work.
“Our nations have all travelled different paths in our colonial histories. And each country represented here faces unique realities in their relationship with Indigenous communities today,” said Bank of Canada Governor, Tiff Macklem. “This symposium reflects our shared desire to work together internationally and within our countries—and most importantly, with our Indigenous partners—to learn from our histories and to do better. Together, we’ll define what reconciliation means for the work of the Bank of Canada—toward a more inclusive and prosperous economy for everyone.”
“Indigenous nations attending this symposium share a common history, colonial tragedy, and hope for the future. We are outsiders to the economic and fiscal system, but we want in,” said Clarence (Manny) Jules, Chief Commissioner of the First Nations Tax Commission and Founder of the Tulo Centre of Indigenous Economics. “This symposium’s attendees have the ideas, research and collective will to support the achievement of these goals and I look forward to our continued work together to end colonialism once and for all.”
“In our endeavours to promote and foster ongoing dialogue and raise awareness of Indigenous economic and financial issues, we can all embrace the concept of Matangirua ki Matangireia. In the Māori language, this means working in unison, to fulfil our ultimate purpose,” said Adrian Orr, Governor of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
The discussions held throughout the symposium demonstrate a clear desire for change. Over the coming months, the Bank of Canada and its partners will continue to build on the strong foundation laid over the past two days.
The CBNII will continue to seek out new partners throughout 2022. The next symposium will be held in 2023, hosted by the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.