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Roundtable held on Indigenous Financial Literacy

21 February 2018
The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples that includes closing the socio-economic gap and improving overall living conditions of First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples. 
In response to this commitment, the Financial Literacy Leader, Jane Rooney from the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), and National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy recently convened a roundtable on strengthening the financial literacy of Indigenous Peoples.  
The roundtable was held on January 18, 2018, in Toronto and brought together some Indigenous and non-Indigenous organizations involved in financial literacy and financial capacity building.  It was an excellent opportunity to connect with leaders in this field and passionate promoters for this work. Natasha McKenna of Prosper Canada attended the meeting along with representatives from AFOA Canada, the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA), ABC Life Literacy Canada, Junior Achievement Saskatchewan, SEED Winnipeg and The Martin Family Initiative, among others.  Each organization shared information on their current financial literacy activities, discussed gaps they see and explored opportunities for how they could work together toward common goals.  
Simon Brascoupé from AFOA Canada gave a presentation on the Indigenous Financial Wellness Framework developed with Prosper Canada, as well as shared findings from some of AFOA’s foundational research: Literature Review of Indigenous Financial Literacy and Aboriginal Financial Literacy Needs Survey and Framework.
Some of the key themes that emerged in the roundtable are as follows:
  • There is a common understanding of barriers that exist
  • There is interest in further collaboration to reduce working in silos/recreating the wheel
  • It is important for this work to be culturally relevant, strength based and community led by an Indigenous organization that can coordinate collective efforts.
FCAC will lead efforts to populate the Canadian Financial Literacy Database with existing resources that have been created for, and by, Indigenous Peoples to address their financial literacy needs.  A recommendation will be tabled by FCAC with the National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy to establish a working group to further the discussions and develop a plan for responding to the financial literacy needs of Indigenous Peoples.