Ontario’s government is supporting Indigenous communities by investing in Indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses, communities, and organizations.

Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs, has announced the first recipients of this year’s Indigenous Economic Development Fund (IEDF), which will provide up to $8.2 million in funding in 2019-20. The first recipients include 26 projects from across Ontario and six Aboriginal Financial Institutions. The IEDF is a part of the government’s commitment to supporting Indigenous economic development by supporting community-led projects.

Minister Rickford made the announcement at Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training in Toronto. Miziwe Biik’s Indigenous Adult Career Exploration Program will receive up to $250,000 to help prepare Indigenous people for apprenticeship opportunities in the plumbing, carpentry and construction trades.

Part of this funding will go to six Aboriginal Financial Institutions that invest directly in entrepreneurs helping them access funds to get projects both big and small off the ground.

“Our government is committed to working with Indigenous communities as an essential part of building Ontario together,” said Minister Rickford. “We are proud to support these projects that strengthen local economies across the province and provide opportunities for economic development and job growth.”

Creating opportunities for Indigenous economic development and entrepreneurship is part of Ontario’s commitment to creating a better future for all Ontarians.

“The contribution of funds to support the design and development of our new Miziwe Biik Training Institute is greatly appreciated,” said Nancy Martin, Executive Director, Miziwe Biik. “The contribution to the Adult Career Exploration Program will help us to succeed in developing and maintaining programs in our agency that lead to employment.”