Painting of a mother bear and her cub walking in the mountains

Opening the Door to Opportunity

November 23, 2021

Opening the Door to Opportunity

Synopsis
3 Minute Read

New report from MNP and ATB Financial highlights the economic contributions of Indigenous peoples in Alberta stemming from the spending by Indigenous governments, Indigenous-owned businesses, and Indigenous households.

Indigenous peoples are integral to the future economic prosperity of Alberta. The current economic impact of Indigenous peoples in Alberta is significant. However, Alberta will not be able to reach its maximum potential without growing stronger together. To move forward together it is important that there is an understanding of where we are and what the opportunities are.

Until now, a comprehensive assessment of the economic footprint of Indigenous peoples in Alberta was not available. ATB and MNP partnered to produce such a report out of a shared desire to support our clients and our communities in advancing reconciliation by fostering a wider understanding of how Indigenous peoples in Alberta contribute to the economy.

The report is intended to be an important tool for identifying the potential opportunities, countering myths and misconceptions, and developing pragmatic solutions to reduce the disparity.

View Full Report: Opening the Door to Opportunity 

Several key takeaways include:

  • The Indigenous economy in Alberta generated $6.74 billion of GDP in 2019 (two percent of provincial GDP), which is equal to the GDP generated by Alberta’s agricultural sector
  • Indigenous-owned businesses’ spending of $2.3 billion was estimated to have generated $1.27 billion in direct GDP, and $500 million of indirect GDP in 2019
  • Total employment among Indigenous population was equivalent to 88 percent of the direct employment of Alberta’s tourism sector in 2019
  • The average income of an Indigenous person in Alberta is $44,232, compared to $63,853 for the non-Indigenous population. Closing the income gap could increase household spending by up to $3 billion annually — supporting up to 14,000 jobs and generating annual tax revenues of between $500 and $600 million.

The Opportunity

Our findings show that closing the gap in employment and income for Indigenous peoples would make a significant contribution to the long-term growth and prosperity of Alberta. To achieve this involves increasing Indigenous participation in the labour market, increasing Indigenous entrepreneurship, and supporting the growth of Indigenous-owned businesses.

MNP and ATB would like to thank all the First Nations, the Métis Settlements General Council, the Métis Nation of Alberta, and Inuit for their contributions to this report and the Alberta economy.

About the Report Artist

Jason Carter is an Indigenous sculptor, painter, illustrator, and public artist from Little Red River Cree Nation. We are proud to display his artwork through this report.

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