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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Ojibwe-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the National Homeland of the Red River Métis. More

Finance: Indigenous Business

Indigenous Business Resources - Welcome

This guide is meant to connect you with business information about First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, with a local and national focus.

We hope to bring awareness to Indigenous business as an overarching subject relating to the specific business disciplines at Asper (e.g. Finance, Business Administration, Entrepreneurship, etc.).

How to Use this Guide

Click the tabs in this welcome box to find general information about language, critical thinking, and our land acknowledgment.

Scroll down to the content or click the links below to jump to sections:

At any time, use the "Back to Top" button on the right to return to the top of the page.

For reference links, click through the tabs in the footer box for search tips, territory maps, community profiles, legal resources, and U of M links.

If you have questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to reach out to the subject librarian.

The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Ojibway-Cree, Dakota, and Dene Peoples, and on the homeland of the Red River Métis. We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of reconciliation and collaboration.

Encountered harmful language regarding Indigenous peoples while using the Libraries?

The University of Manitoba Library recognizes that our catalogue and resource descriptions contain language that reflects the biases, norms, and perspectives of the time in which they were created. In particular, for resources about persons and groups, this language is often outdated and harmful. These descriptions also incorporate controlled vocabularies, such as the Library of Congress Subject Headings, which include some headings that are offensive or inappropriate. We use international standards for description, but support and actively participate in efforts to update and change these practices as we strive for descriptions that are inclusive, respectful, and do not cause harm. We acknowledge the critical importance of community consultation in these efforts, and as residents on Treaty 1 territory on original lands of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation, we commit to working together with our local communities to make these changes.

If you encounter language in the University of Manitoba Library catalogue records or other resource descriptions that you find offensive or harmful, or if you have questions about this statement or our work, we welcome your feedback via We are committed to reviewing and adding to catalogue records and other resource descriptions as appropriate, where we can. 

If at any time you feel the need to speak with someone, a national crisis line is available for Residential School Survivors and their families 24 hours a day, seven days a week: 1-866-925-4419. In addition, the University of Manitoba’s Indigenous Student Centre has a dedicated Student Counsellor. You can book a session by contacting the Indigenous Student Centre at (204)474-8850 or emailing

You will notice that some of the resources in this guide have been published by colonial institutions/organizations, and may not have authors who self-identify as Indigenous. This content is still relevant to a business context and has educational value, but you are encouraged to read with a critical lens. Ask yourself some questions like:

Who authored this resource?

How are Indigenous voices and perspectives centered in this resource?

What is the purpose of this resource? (e.g. does it advance the goals of reconciliation set out by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission 94 Calls to Action

What is the historical relationship between the publishing organization and Indigenous communities?

Evaluating and thinking critically about these resources will help you make good use of them and enrich your learning.

Business Cases & Reports

U of M Theses

Books and Ebooks

Journals & Periodicals

Local Indigenous Businesses


Financial Trusts

“Autonomous, Indigenous-controlled, community-based financial organizations. IFIs provide developmental lending and business financing to support services to First Nations, Metis, and Inuit businesses and communities in all provinces and territories. Support includes business loans, non-repayable contributions, financial and management consulting, and business start-up and aftercare services.”

IFI Example: Community Futures North Central Development (CFNCD)

“Aboriginal-owned and controlled business lending organizations that are capitalized by the Federal Government to deliver financing and advisory services for Aboriginal business development

ACC Example: Tribal Wi-Chi-Way-Win Capital Corporation (TWCC)

“ACFDCs are capitalized by the Federal Government through regional development agencies (RDAs) and provide local communities with a variety of services, including business development loans, technical support, training, and information.”

ACFDC Example: Dakota Ojibway Community Futures Development Corporation (DOCFDC)

“ADLs that are capitalized either by the private sector or the provincial/territorial governments provide debt and equity and a variety of business support services, including federal, provincial, and territorial programs to status and non-status First Nations, Inuit, and Metis businesses and communities.”

ADL Example: Louis Riel Capital Corporation (LRCC)


Definitions source: NACCA

Page Authors

The Indigenous Business Guide was created by John Bryans (Social Sciences Librarian) and Shirley Delorme Russell (Indigenous Librarian Intern). The guide is based on a previous version created by Amanda Wheatley.

Ask Us


Reference Links

You can look for books, journal articles, and other materials using the Library Search.

Let's say I'm interested in "Indigenous Employment in Natural Resources."

Use a combination of keywords to create what we call a search string.

Use keywords for each concept you’re researching.
For example: Indigenous, employment, natural resources

Use similar keywords, or synonyms, to broaden your search.
For example: Indigenous OR First Nations OR Aboriginal OR Metis OR Inuit

Use Boolean Operators to join your keywords. Boolean Operators are commands we give the search engine to combine (or string together) keywords into a search string. Here are some common Boolean Operators you can use:

  • AND – combines different keywords and narrows your results
  • OR – combines synonyms and broadens your results
  • “” – tells the search engine to combine 2 or more keywords to search an exact phrase

Search string example: (Indigenous OR “First NationsOR Aboriginal OR Metis OR Inuit) AND (employment OR workforce OR job market”) AND barriers
Tip: use all CAPS for your Boolean Operators, put your similar/synonym keywords in brackets.
Enter your search string in the basic search box.

See also: UML guide to Advanced Search.

“The Indian Act is the principal law through which the federal government administers Indian status, local First Nations governments and the management of reserve land and communal monies. The Indian Act does not include Métis or Inuit peoples. The Act came into power on 12 April 1876. It consolidated a number of earlier colonial laws that sought to control and assimilate Indigenous peoples into Euro-Canadian culture. The Indian Act has been amended many times over the years to do away with restrictive and oppressive laws. However, the Act has had historic and ongoing impacts on First Nations cultures, economies, politics and communities. It has also caused inter-generational trauma, particularly with regards to residential schools.” Source: Canadian Encyclopedia

Link to Indian Act (Government of Canada)


Warning: The Indian Act is full of outdated and harmful language. Read it critically. For support or more information see "Harmful Language at the Libraries".


“The Declaration is a comprehensive statement addressing the human rights of indigenous peoples. The document emphasizes the rights of indigenous peoples to live in dignity, to maintain and strengthen their own institutions, cultures and traditions and to pursue their self-determined development, in keeping with their own needs and aspirations.”

Source: United Nations

First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in Canada have unique rights that are guaranteed under section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982. Section 35 recognizes and affirms the existing Aboriginal and treaty rights of Indigenous peoples. As a way to protect these rights, the doctrine of the duty to consult and, where appropriate, accommodate Indigenous groups, was developed by Canadian courts. Furthermore, the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, endorsed by Canada in 2010, provides that member states must consult and cooperate with Indigenous peoples on certain matters, such as “legislative or administrative measures that may affect them,” in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent.

As stated by the Supreme Court of Canada (Supreme Court), the general purpose of the duty to consult is to foster reconciliation. Thus, the duty to consult doctrine is of fundamental importance to Indigenous communities and Indigenous governments, as well as to federal, provincial and territorial governments, private industry stakeholders and Canadian society as a whole. Source: The Duty to Consult Indigenous Peoples (Brideau 2019, p.1)

See: Duty to Consult Framework (Govt. of MB.)