Some First Nations and Métis communities in Alberta have experienced economic success unlike anywhere else in Canada. They have achieved success in businesses including First Nation gaming and resort development, oil and natural gas servicing, large-scale farming and other retail operations. These businesses compete nationally and internationally with Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses. But the success story is incomplete. Indigenous Peoples are underrepresented in the labour market, have lower economic participation rates than the non-Indigenous population and are more likely to face barriers to employment.
Our audit examined whether the departments of Indigenous Relations and Labour and Immigration have effective processes to assess and report on the results of their programs designed to support economic self-reliance and increased participation by Indigenous Peoples in Alberta’s economy.
This audit focused on the performance reporting for programs at the departments. We examined whether each department has established planned results; if they measure, monitor and report on program results; and if results analysis demonstrated to the departments how well their programs performed. We also examined whether management used the information it collected to improve programs to meet program objectives.
We found the departments have processes to assess and report on the results of their programs designed to support economic self-reliance and increased participation by Indigenous Peoples in Alberta’s economy, but not all of these processes were effective and improvements can be made.
To help us understand the complexities experienced by Indigenous communities and the range of economic successes and challenges they have had, we met with several key Indigenous community and business leaders. We provide a summary of our discussions with Indigenous community and business leaders in our First Nations and Métis Leaders’ Insights document.