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Advancing Reconciliation Through Indigenous Economic Development

July 30, 2020, 4:30PM - 5:30PM

Professor Frankie Young

Advancing Reconciliation Through Indigenous Economic Development
With Professor Frankie Young
Western Law

Economic development provides a pathway for Indigenous peoples to become self-sustaining. Yet, current Canadian laws impact Indigenous Nations’ ability to create and develop sustainable economies on their own terms. Because of this, alleviating the poverty plaguing Indigenous communities in Canada, while at the same time preserving Indigenous culture, requires some creativity. It will also require Indigenous laws, customs and traditions related to business be considered so we no longer put any Indigenous Nation’s cultural and traditional values—that which makes them a Nation— at risk of being compromised in the course of doing “mainstream” business.

This presentation discusses how the preservation of Indigenous culture is critical to Indigenous businesses’ long-term sustainability. We will also explore ways we can increase the Indigenous market share so that it becomes the norm to see thriving Indigenous businesses and investors in the Canadian market economy.

BIO: Frankie Young (Mi’kmaw) joined Western Law in 2019. Her scholarly research and teaching areas include Indigenous economic development and self-government, the legitimacy of Indigenous laws, trust law, banking and finance law, business law and secured property transactions.

After working overseas on Native Title claims in Sydney, Australia from which she received the Saskatchewan Innovation and Opportunity Scholarship, Professor Young worked in the area of specific claims, trusts, secured transactions and litigation funding. She also served as the Regional Vice President at RBC Wealth Management in the Indigenous Trust Services division where she was responsible for the oversight of the administration of trusts for numerous Indigenous clients throughout Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Atlantic Canada. She currently provides consulting services to lawyers and Indigenous communities on trusts and wealth management initiatives.

Professor Young is currently involved as a research partner with the Legal Reform for Indigenous Economic Growth Project, a multi-jurisdictional research initiative involving scholars from Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United States. The mandate of this project is to explore critical legal options for Indigenous economic growth and to make research readily accessible to scholars, lawyers and government and Indigenous policymakers.

Professor Young is the recipient of the Dean’s Research Fellowship where she is exploring how constraints in current Canadian laws and legislation impact the ability of Indigenous Nations to create and develop sustainable economies on their own terms. Economic development provides a pathway for Indigenous peoples to become self-sustaining. The research explores how Nations can do this on their own terms without compromising culture. To this end, the research asserts the legitimacy of Indigenous laws in Canada, an already multi-juridical legal system.



  • Tags:
  • Women's Leadership
  • LAMP
  • Kimberley Milani
  • Jana Seijts