The Aerospace and Defence Sector: What is required for Aboriginal businesses to enter and operate in supply chains?

The focus of this research is reflected in its title – Aerospace and Defense Sector:
What is required for Indigenous businesses to enter and operate in supply
chains?
In undertaking this study, the Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated
Research Program (AAEDIRP) was seeking to aid the Atlantic Policy Congress of First
Nations Chiefs (APCFNC) in better understanding what is required for Indigenous
businesses to enter and operate in aerospace and defence (A&D) sector supply chains in an
Atlantic Canadian context.
This project is part of a broader research effort led by the AAEDIRP to provide
documentary evidence-based research on Indigenous economic development. This
research supports decision making in the region, while developing tools, initiatives,
advocacy strategies and policies designed to enhance results over time. This study is also
part of a more recently expanded direction for the AAEDIRP research that seeks to not
only understand the individual barriers to economic participation, but to also better
understand the opportunities and challenges that Aboriginal entrepreneurs face.
The presence of the decades-long shipbuilding contracts in Canada and, more particularly,
in the Atlantic Region, provides the time required to have a truly transformative impact on
building the capacity of Indigenous suppliers. This time factor, coupled with an emerging
cohort of well-educated Indigenous youth, augurs well for the development of a medium to
long-term strategy and strategic action plan to enhance participation of Indigenous
companies and entrepreneurs in A&D and related supply chains.
Through this study, the focus is also on the development of a strong advocacy agenda that
will serve to address the findings generated through this research in a proactive and robust
manner and which, presumably, can leverage the enabling environment created by the ongoing Truth and Reconciliation (TRC) process. Within this agenda, the study finds roles for
members of the Indigenous communities, its leadership and administration, as well as
government policy makers and leaders.

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