Now is the time to take action and find new ways of doing things, to strengthen Indigenous communities in Canada who are creating a better, more prosperous future.Photo Sylvain Giguere 2017

So says Sylvain Giguère, with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) division for Local Economic and Employment Development (LEED), based in Paris. “I think it’s the right time to be bold and propose new things because there’s an opportunity to change the way that policies are managed, and there’s a great openness at the various levels of government to make those changes,” says Giguère.

As part of the national community economic development conference EconoUs2017 coming to Calgary this fall, OECD will host the ‘Empowering Indigenous Communities’ workshop on Wednesday, September 13 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The session will explore the enabling role of policy innovations at the local, provincial and federal levels to stimulate economic development in Indigenous communities. And share learnings in regards to the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people on a range of critical socio-economic outcomes from the many countries where OECD operates (including Canada, the United States, Australia, Mexico and New Zealand).

“We will be looking at Indigenous strategies to boost job creation, and how programs can be better designed to mutually reinforce Indigenous employment and economic development. We’re also exploring governance, so that policies are well coordinated and well adapted to the needs of Indigenous communities in Canada.”

The workshop will also highlight best practices from other nations, such as Australia. “Many other countries are also willing to make changes, so it’s very encouraging, and there’s a good opportunity to learn.”

To register, visit

* You can pay using 100 per cent Calgary Dollars;

*You can apply to the Shared Prosperity Bursary Program if financial barriers are an issue. This bursary program is made possible thanks to Calgary Neighbourhoods, United Way, and the Calgary Foundation;

*Students receive reduced rates.

EconoUs2017 is bringing together community leaders whose goal is to make people and the planet a priority to create good jobs and build thriving communities. Powered by the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet), EconoUs2017 takes place in Calgary and area and is being hosted by Thrive and partners REAP, Calgary Economic Development, the Institute for Community Prosperity at Mount Royal University, Momentum, and Calgary Regional Partnership.

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