Brandon University report details Indigenous economic impact in Manitoba for the first time

January 10, 2019

Dr. William Ashton from Brandon University’s Rural Development Institute with Onekanew Christian Sinclair of Opaskwayak Cree Nation at today’s press conference to release the Indigenous Contributions to the Manitoba Economy report.

Indigenous people in Manitoba make strong contributions to the provincial economy, which have been detailed for the first time in a comprehensive report released today.

MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee speaking at the release of the Indigenous Contributions to the Manitoba Economy report this morning at Madison Urban Reserve in Winnipeg.

Indigenous spending in Manitoba totaled $9.3 billion in the year 2016, the equivalent of contributing 3.9% to the provincial GDP — greater than oil and gas (including mining), food and accommodations, or manufacturing.

“That impressive number begins to show the scale of ongoing Indigenous impact here in Manitoba,” said Bill Ashton, director of Brandon University’s Rural Development Institute (RDI), which partnered with the Southern Chiefs’ Organization Inc. (SCO) and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Inc. (MKO) to produce the report.

The report provides a snapshot of Indigenous economic contributions for a single year as well as looking at possibilities to unlock even more potential in the future.

“The data is clear, Indigenous economic impact has enormous growth potential,” Ashton said. “Indigenous populations are some of the fastest-growing in Manitoba, and Indigenous economic impact will grow alongside it. Also, there is a lot of opportunity to increase economic development right now, both on-reserve and off-reserve, but also by expanding the opportunities provided by urban reserves.”

For the first time with this report, RDI gathered data and conducted research and analysis in accordance with the First Nations principles of Ownership, Control, Access and Possession.

The full report can be accessed online at

See a short video from the launch:

For more information, please contact:

Bill Ashton
Director, BU Rural Development Institute

Grant Hamilton
Director, Marketing and Communications

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