The Indigenous people of Manitoba influenced the economy of the province really significantly in 2018.
During last year, the Indigenous population brought more than $9 billion to the provincial economy. This year, the first report was made on the contribution of this population, and its goal was to reduce racism in the country, and in the province in particular.
Carolyn Bennett, Canada's Indigenous-Crown relations minister, said the following:
"We know that facts can help bust away stereotypes and can actually start to deal with the racism that we are dealing with in our country coast to coast to coast. It is about getting the facts out that we actually need for the 95 per cent of Canadians not from an Indigenous background to actually blow up the past, sort of, fake news that is about the role of the Indigenous people and population in our country."
The report also showed that the Indigenous population contributed almost 4% to the economy of Manitoba.
The owner of Winnipeg's Kisik Commercial Furniture, Darrell Brown, said that the Indigenous talked about this for years, but few people wanted to listen to them. "We've been trying to tell our provincial counterparts you need to look at how much we're bringing in business taxes."
"If you come to an Aboriginal Chamber event you'll see all of us are business owners in every sector and service you can think of," he added. "We're making a big contribution, we're employing people and we're a big part of this economy."
Garrison Settee, MKO Grand Chief, explained that most of the economic activities of Indigenous people were not recognized. However, now the situation should change.
"It validates us as a people, as essential contributors to the economy of Manitoba, that can no longer go unrecognized," he noted.