Virtual exchange’s third major report . . .
INDIGI-X, a Canada-New Zealand (Aotearoa) joint initiative founded in 2020 to connect Indigenous professionals worldwide, released its third report last Thursday. The report consolidates findings and recommendations from a six-week-long virtual exchange in the spring from a cohort of 23 Indigenous entrepreneurs, professionals, community builders and changemakers from Canada and Aotearoa. The first report was released in September 2020, and the second report was released last year. Governments in both participating countries support and endorse the program.
Topics and findings . . .
The report features 22 discrete recommendations for consideration by governments in the two participating countries. For example, on self-governance, the report recommends traditional ceremonies be formally recognized and embedded within the established process of Treaty of Waitangi negotiations, the treaty signed in 1840 between Māori tribes and the British crown in Aotearoa-New Zealand, and that Canada formally recognizes traditional forms of Indigenous leadership and governance systems. On Indigenous creative industries, the report’s authors call for enhancing education and commercial opportunities, legislation recognizing cultural appropriation as fraud, and that both countries fund Indigify.me, an Indigenous-led platform dedicated to protecting Indigenous culture and creative arts. Cohort members also make several recommendations around revitalizing and empowering Indigenous matriarchal knowledge, including making “Indigenous languages, matriarchal teaching, history, and Creation Stories mandatory in primary education.” Recommendations to support Indigenous youth leadership include expanding support for a global exchange program and creating “dedicated space for Indigenous youth to participate in existing international opportunities.”
'Together we are stronger’ . . .
INDIGI-X Director Raylene Whitford commends the growth, significance, and impact of INDIGI-X and related Indigenous programming and activities. She notes in the report that “together we are stronger” and that “[t]his incredibly vibrant network of Indigenous leaders from around the world is just getting started.” Many of INDIGI-X’s 67 alumni have begun participating in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, a 21-member-economy regional forum, through various dialogues on business, trade, and inclusion and the implementation of an Indigenous statement of priorities.
- APF Canada: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation takes steps toward Indigenous inclusion
- INDIGI-X: Final Report June 2022
- New Zealand Foreign Affairs & Trade: The Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement