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What is Indigenomics?

Indigenomics is both a book by Carol Anne Hilton and a movement that aims to foster sustainable economic growth in First Nations communities. It's an approach to economic development rooted in the traditional values of First Nations. At its core, Indigenomics is based on two ideas—self-determination and sustainability. 


Economic development, when viewed through an Indigenomics lens, focuses on: 

  • Relationships

  • Multigenerational stewardship

  • Care for all beings  


Another important foundation of Indigenomics is the rights of Indigenous people to participate in the decision-making process and have their values accounted for in any project proposal. 


Why Indigenomics Matters for Economic Development

Indigenomics is crucial to modern economic development as it provides a framework that considers First Nations communities' challenges, needs, and aspirations. Traditional economic practices often fail to address the complexities and challenges faced by Indigenous people, leading to unequal opportunities.  


Regaining Control 

In contrast, Indigenomics aims to empower each First Nation to take control of their economic destiny and pursue development efforts that align with their cultural values and priorities.


Economic Self-Sufficiency 

An essential principle of Indigenomics is the concept of economic independence, or control over decision-making. By reclaiming control over their resources and business ventures, First Nations communities can build sustainable economies that enable them to thrive. 


An Inclusive Approach 

Indigenomics also promotes inclusive approaches to economic development. Specifically, it encourages collaboration between Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups, leading to prosperity for all. 


First Nations communities can leverage resources and expertise outside their territory by developing mutually beneficial relationships. These connections enable them to pursue economic growth initiatives while honouring their cultural values and land rights.


Measuring the Impact of Indigenomics

One way to measure the outcomes of Indigenomics is to track First Nations communities' economic, social, and cultural well-being. Metrics such as employment rates, household income, levels of business ownership, and access to essential services are a few numbers that you can review. Additionally, capturing narratives and stories that reflect the impact of Indigenomics on community, culture, and environment helps paint a broader, more complete picture. 


One way to measure the effectiveness of Indigenomics is to gather data and feedback from First Nations and stakeholders such as multiple levels of government and partners. Additionally, this exercise can help identify areas for improvement or further investment. 


Ultimately, the success of Indigenomics is measured in terms of economic growth and prosperity and in terms of its ability to honour Indigenous rights, values, and aspirations for future generations.


Economic Reclamation

As a movement, Indigenomics offers an approach to economic development that emphasizes Indigenous values and priorities. The goal is to empower each Nation to take control of its economic destiny, restoring thriving trade networks, cultures, and communities while ensuring multigenerational environmental stewardship. 


Most importantly, Indigenomics has the potential to create a more inclusive, fair, and sustainable approach to economic growth that other Nations seeking self-reliance can replicate. 


You can learn more by reading Indigenomics by Carol Anne Hilton.

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