Name of Researcher/Research Team Members/Community Partners:
Dr. Alex Teixeira, FNUNIV & USASK
Dr. Ken Coates. FNUNIV Board of Governors & USASK
Funding institution/Grant (if applicable):
MITACS – Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) (www.ccab.com)
Summary or Abstract of the Project:
The 2020-2022 COVID-19 Pandemic created unprecedented challenges for all Canadian businesses, particularly for Indigenous economic development corporations. These community-owned enterprises are designed to maximize their communities’ economic development and employment opportunities while producing long-term wealth for their Indigenous government. The pandemic threw company plans into turmoil, forcing quick adaptation to rapidly changing conditions. In some cases, core enterprises declined dramatically. In others, the development corporations became the primary instruments for distributing food and other supplies to members and providing protective and other services.
This project examines the response of Indigenous economic development corporations to the pandemic, including their management of employees, cash flow and investment challenges, commercial adaptations and relations with the Indigenous governments. This work will contribute to the growing but still limited amount of scholarly work on indigenous economic development corporations and to the understanding of commercial adaptations to the pandemic of 2020-2022.
The researchers will interview the executive directors/senior managers of the development corporations and the leaders of Indigenous governments. Interviews will be conducted with the appropriate Government of Canada and provincial authorities, focusing on the corporation’s use of financial and other support programs associated with the pandemic.
The general objective of this project is to provide a detailed analysis of the state of Indigenous business development in Canada, underscoring the emergent role of community-owned for-profit firms in Canada. The Indigenous economic development corporations are not well-known at present and are not understood for the comprehensive role that they are playing in Indigenous economic development and community autonomy.
Dr. Alex V. Teixeira
Indigenous Business & Public Administration
First Nations University of Canada.