Indian Affairs Defends Halt Of Business Funding

Wednesday, March 30, 2005 at 14:49



An Indian Affairs spokesman says cuts to assistance programs for First Nations’ businesses shouldn’t be interpreted as a sign of indifference by the federal department.


Trevor Sutter says Indian Affairs removed its development support program for businesses and access to capital initiatives because it didn’t want to duplicate services offered by other agencies.


The federal department came under attack last week by the FSIN, which called the decision to cut the programs a step backwards.


However, Sutter says those two programs, as well as others, are available to First Nations’ entrepreneurs and businesses elsewhere.


Sutter says programs very similar to ones previously offered by INAC are available through the Western Economic Diversification program and Aboriginal Business Canada.


The FSIN, however, is planning to send a letter to the federal government stating it feels the move is a sign Ottawa considers economic development for First Nations a low priority.