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Indigenous communities need to be partners in Canada’s COVID-19 recovery plan – The Globe and Mail

Joseph Quesnel is an adviser on the National Task Force for Real Jobs, Real Recovery. He is an Indigenous policy and governance researcher.

It’s easy to forget that at the beginning of the year, Canada was right in the middle of another crisis triggered by a series of protests over a natural gas pipeline being built through northern B.C. The issue of Indigenous reconciliation was front and centre in our national consciousness.

Then, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic hit, damaging our national economy in a way that we had never experienced before. For a natural-resource powerhouse like Canada, this had a measurable impact on our economic performance in the early part of the year. In 2019, natural-resource industries contributed $236-billion, representing 11.3 per cent of the Canadian economy, according to Natural Resources Canada. About 1.7 million Canadians were employed by the sector.

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