Third set of Indigenous dialogues . . .
Last week, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) 2021 hosted two Indigenous peoples-focused dialogues. ‘Live with Business: Indigenous Inclusion in the Global Financial Economy – Together Greater’ brought together Indigenous businesses and a large New Zealand financial institution. ‘Te Manawatōpū: Of One Heart and Mind – Indigenous to Indigenous Dialogue’ hosted Indigenous speakers from New Zealand, Canada, the Philippines, and Mexico, addressing Indigenous international trade and building Indigenous enterprises and communities.
Aotearoa / New Zealand leads by example . . .
Linda Te Aho, the Chair of Te Arataura, Waikato-Tainui, which manages the affairs of 77,000 Māori members in Aotearoa (New Zealand’s name in te reo Māori, the Māori language), spoke about the importance of self-determination and Indigenous groups shaping their own projects and trajectories for developing intergenerational wealth. Mavis Mullins, Chair of Atihau-Whanganui Inc., one of the largest farms in the country with over 9,000 Māori shareholders, spoke of the importance of relationships with the land, staff, and customers. From Canada, Lucy Pelletier, Chair of the Saskatchewan Indian Equity Foundation, one of Canada’s first Indigenous financial institutions, discussed the need to continue eliminating institutional barriers within the financial sector and fit-for-purpose (as opposed to one-size-fits-all) solutions for supporting Indigenous inclusion. A new report launched at the event by Westpac NZ, a bank and financial service provider, discusses how the Māori economy is integrated into the wider national economy, the rapid growth of the Māori population and labour force, and the need to create an environment to support the growth of Māori small and medium-sized enterprises.
Indigenous inclusion at APEC 2021 . . .
Last week’s dialogues were the third set of APEC-organized Indigenous-focused events this year. They are part of New Zealand’s efforts, as this year’s APEC host, to champion Indigenous voices and have APEC recognize the importance of including the region’s Indigenous peoples – of which there are some 270 million – in its work. The first sessions took place in March and April and included exploratory discussions and a report on understanding Indigenous economies within APEC. In August, the Indigenous business leaders’ dialoguehad participants from 14 economies and culminated in a draft statement of priorities. The APEC CEO Summit in November will be an opportunity to assess how the organization will support this pathbreaking work to ensure that no one is left behind in its wide-ranging work on economic growth, trade, health, and data.
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