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Ground-breaking New Collaboration Between CCAB and Indspire Reveals New Insights About Indigenous Employment in Canada

Toronto, ON – September 22, 2020.

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and Indspire have launched a joint report exploring how Indigenous post-secondary experiences are associated with entrepreneurship, working for Indigenous employers, and overall labour market outcomes. This report, supported by the Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, marks the second step in leveraging CCAB and Indspire’s collective data to better understand post-graduation socio-economic outcomes for Indigenous youth and their communities in Canada, forging a strong, collaborative research partnership that has begun to reveal key insights about these outcomes.

Using data from Indspire’s 2020 National Education Survey (NES) of Building Brighter Futures: Bursaries, Scholarships, and Awards (BBF) recipients, as well as Statistics Canada’s Census of Population (2016), the study yields some surprising and positive insights. For example, BBF recipients who work for Indigenous employers in Ontario report being more satisfied with their current employment than those working with non-Indigenous employers. On average, they more strongly agree that they feel valued at work, are satisfied with their current employment, that they work the desired number of hours, and that their workplace encourages a healthy work-life balance.

“This report begins to address the lack of data on Indigenous entrepreneurship and educational success”, says Roberta Jamieson, President and CEO of Indspire. “Through leveraging our data and respective mandates, we can continue to produce new proprietary research aimed at shaping the actions of businesses, organizations, and governments in Canada to better support the educational success, and ultimately, the economic and social wellbeing of Indigenous peoples.”

“Indigenous youth are the fastest growing demographic in Canada and a key part of Canada’s current and future workforce,” said Tabatha Bull, President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business. “This report is a first step in the conversation about how to attract, retain, and support this important demographic in all Canadian workplaces.”

“Ontario is proud to support the innovative collaboration between the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business and Indspire in developing this report,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “By harnessing the report’s insights and working collaboratively we will continue to enhance the social and economic well-being of Indigenous people in this province.”

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Approximately 35% of BBF recipients report working for an Indigenous employer.
  • A full three-quarters (75%) of BBF recipients employed by an Indigenous employer find suitable work in an Indigenous community. BBF recipients are more likely to be self-employed than Indigenous workers in the same age cohort.
  • Self-employed BBF recipients are more concentrated in the health care and social assistance, educational services, construction, and real estate rental and leasing sectors than in the broader Indigenous population.

Click here to read a full copy of the report. 

About Indspire

Indspire is an Indigenous national charity that invests in the education of First Nations, Inuit and Métis people for the long-term benefit of these individuals, their families and communities, and Canada. With the support of its funding partners, Indspire provides financial awards, delivers programs and shares resources so that First Nations, Inuit, and Métis students will achieve their highest potential. Anchored by its mission and mandate, Indspire’s North Star vision is that, within a generation, every Indigenous student will graduate. In 2019-2020, Indspire provided over $17.8 million through 5,124 bursaries and scholarships to First Nations, Inuit and Métis students across Canada. For more information, visit indspire.ca.

About Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB)

Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) is committed to the full participation of Indigenous peoples in Canada’s economy. A national, non-partisan association, with a mission to promote, strengthen and enhance a prosperous Indigenous economy through the fostering of business relationships, opportunities, and awareness.  CCAB offers knowledge, resources and programs to its members to foster economic opportunities for Indigenous peoples and businesses across Canada. For more information visit www.ccab.com.


For media enquiries, please contact:

Nick Foglia
Vice-President, Communications & Marketing
nfoglia@indspire.ca | 416-921-2678

Amanda Charles
Communications Associate
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
acharles@ccab.com | 647-289-2753