The report found that First Nations people working in the mining sector
had a median 2016 annual income of $91,572, double the nationwide First
Nations median of $43,812 per year, and well above the $53,648 per year
for non-Indigenous people.
Similarly, First Nations members working in the oil and gas sector earned
close to three times the average personal income of First Nations people
across the country, earning an average of nearly $150,000 in 2016,
compared with $51,500 outside the industry.
Reconciliation is not just atoning for past misdeeds but there also needs to be economic reconciliation, according to the Montreal Economic Institute
CALGARY — A dramatic change in First Nations’ approaches to natural resources development has led, in certain cases, to rising incomes in Indigenous communities where members now out-earn national averages.
The Montreal Economic Institute found in a study released Tuesday that First Nations communities and members involved in resource development earn multiples of what both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people earn in other industries.
The MEI report, titled The First Entrepreneurs, notes that there is no consensus among First Nations on an approach to resource development in their traditional territories, but there is a rising number of impact-benefits agreements across the country as more groups turn to resource extraction for economic opportunity.
The report did not specifically consider the relative wages of First Nations communities in places such as Vancouver, which have opposed energy projects such as the Trans Mountain expansion over environmental concerns, but considered incomes among First Nations groups in rural areas focused on resource extraction.
“Many First Nations are getting more prosperous,” MEI researcher and the report’s author Germain Belzile said in an interview. “In some areas, First Nations will become more prosperous than non-First Nations communities.”