Aboriginal Entrepreneurship and Economic Development in Canada: Thoughts on Current Theory and Practice [International Research in the Business Disciplines]

International Research in the Business Disciplines
Year of publication: 

"The first section of this chapter provides a description of the socioeconomic circumstances of Aboriginal people in Canada and the approach to improving these circumstances that began to emerge among them during the closing decades of the 20th Century. As that material shows, entrepreneurship has played a key role in the approach, and it will continue to do so. The second and third sections of the paper examine this approach in more depth. The second section does so from a theoretical perspective addressing the question – is the current Aboriginal approach to improving the socioeconomic circumstances of individuals and communities likely to succeed? It answers this question using regulation theory enriched by an entrepreneurial perspective. Regulation theory is an outgrowth of the closing decades of the 20th Century. The new economy it describes, and the emerging Aboriginal approach to development are contemporaneous. Then, the third section addresses the question – is the approach to development suggested by regulation theory being implemented; and, if so, to what extent? It does this by reporting on the results of a survey of economic development officers working in Aboriginal communities and organizations across Canada. A final question remains – to the extent the regulation theory approach is being implemented, is it working? A definitive answer to this question will come only with the passage of time. Early indications suggest a certain degree of success, at least from some Indigenous groups. Examples of several apparent successes of economic development among Aboriginal groups in Canada are provided."