December 10, 2021 – Ottawa, Ontario – Global Affairs Canada
As part of its inclusive approach to trade, Canada is developing and implementing policies to ensure that Indigenous peoples in Canada have access to all the benefits and opportunities that flow from international trade and investment.
Today, the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development, announced Canada’s endorsement of the Indigenous Peoples Economic and Trade Cooperation Arrangement (IPETCA).
IPETCA was developed in close cooperation with Indigenous peoples in Canada through Global Affairs Canada’s Indigenous Working Group on Trade Policy and is open for other economies to join. IPETCA acknowledges the importance of enhancing the ability of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous businesses to benefit from the opportunities created by international trade and investment.
As a cooperation-based and voluntary instrument, IPETCA establishes a framework for facilitating cooperation between participating economies in order to identify and remove barriers to Indigenous peoples’ economic empowerment and participation in trade. It comprises provisions on responsible business conduct, traditional knowledge, and traditional cultural expressions.
The agreement also includes a provision whereby participating economies acknowledge that it is inappropriate to weaken or reduce protections for Indigenous peoples in order to attract trade or investment. Indigenous representatives from each participating economy will be involved in the implementation and operation of IPETCA alongside government officials.
In the spirit of reconciliation and strengthening partnerships with Indigenous peoples in Canada, Minister Ng expects to hold a ceremony with Indigenous peoples in early 2022 to mark this historic arrangement.