Report on Indigenous Development and the Prime Ministerial Trade Mission to Argentina, Chile and Brazil
This report summarizes the Indigenous Development aspect of the Prime Minister’s Trade mission to South America. The report, and the participation of Wayne Dunn as the Economic Development Advisor to the President of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples is significant. This is believed to be the first time that Indigenous economic development was included as an aspect of a Prime Ministerial Trade Mission.
Report on Indigenous Development and the Prime Ministerial Trade Mission to Argentina, Chile and Brazil
Apikan Indigenous Network World Council of Indigenous PeoplesIndigenous Development and the Prime Ministerial Trade Mission to Argentina, Chile and Brazil January 21 - 29, 1995 Prepared by: Wayne Dunn Executive Director, Apikan Indigenous Network Economic Development Advisor, World Council of Indigenous Peoples firstname.lastname@example.org
-1-This report was prepared by Wayne Dunn for Apikan Indigenous Network and the WorldCouncil of Indigenous Peoples.For additional information, contact:Wayne Dunn Rodrigo ContrerasApikan Indigenous Network World Council of Indigenous Peoples110C Twyford Street 100 ArgyleOttawa, Ont. K1V 0V7 Ottawa, On CanadaCANADA Phone: 613-230-9030Phone: 613-733-6069 Fax: 613-230-9340Fax: 613-733-7816Internet: email@example.comTHE MISSIONThe Canadian government, as part of its efforts to enhance trade, and following up onthe Miami Summit, organized the first ever Prime Ministerial Trade mission to Argentina,Chile and Brazil. This mission was led by Prime Minster Chrétien, who also visitedTrinidad & Tobago, Uruguay and Costa Rica.Accompanying the Prime Minister, was International Trade Minister Roy MacLaren andSecretary of State for Latin America, Christine Stewart. The mission also includedsenior Canadian trade representatives, and a number of leading Canadian businessrepresentatives. Wayne Dunn, Economic Development Advisor to the President of theWorld Council of Indigenous Peoples, and Rodrigo Contreras, represented thatorganization on the Mission.BACKGROUND ON ABORIGINAL INVOLVEMENTIndigenous peoples throughout the Americas had extensive trading relationships datingback thousands of years. In recent years, many Canadian indigenous businesses havebeen looking at the international arena for trade and investment opportunities. As well,Indigenous Peoples organizations and community based entrepreneurs from LatinAmerica have identified Canadian Indigenous peoples as potential partners andmarkets.Canadian based Apikan Indigenous Network specializes in international Indigenoustrade and development partnerships and international Indigenous development. Apikan,through Wayne Dunn, has taken a lead role in this area and sponsored and supportedvarious international Indigenous development efforts in Latin America. In addition, theyhave organized several international Indigenous partnership conferences. Wayne Dunnhas recently conducted a five country Central American project identification mission,and Apikan has co-sponsored, with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP),an international round table on Indigenous trade and development, which was held atUN Headquarters in New York.Prime Ministerial Trade Mission to South America January 21 - 29, 1995Apikan/WCIP Report
-2-The international community has recognized the principles of Indigenous Peoples’meaningful participation in their own development and the promotion of cultural valuesas a contribution to national and international sustainable and democratic development.The World Council of Indigenous Peoples (WCIP), has consultative status with theEconomic and Social Council (ECOSOC) at the United Nations, and has a long historyof supporting Indigenous peoples development efforts throughout the world. RecentlyApikan, with support from WCIP, has been working closely with the UNDP in New Yorkand numerous national and international Indigenous organizations, to develop aninternational facility that will support the efforts of Indigenous peoples development,especially as it relates to trade, partnerships, production, marketing and training.At the invitation of Minister MacLaren, and with the support of Aboriginal BusinessCanada, Apikan Indigenous Network (Wayne Dunn, Project Director) and the WorldCouncil of Indigenous Peoples (Rodrigo Contreras, Executive Director) participated inthe Jan. 21-29 Prime Ministerial Trade Mission to Argentina, Chile and Brazil. Theserepresentatives were delegated by their respective institutions to appropriately representthem on this mission.The objective of the participation was to increase dialogue with Indigenous organizationsregarding the Apikan/UNDP/WCIP Indigenous Peoples Development initiative. A furtherobjective was to provide information on the capacity of Canadian Indigenous business.An additional objective was to discuss with business and government traderepresentatives the beneficial role Canadian Indigenous businesses can play in theinternational arena.In addition to participating in all official functions during the mission, specific meetingsand activities were undertaken to further the stated objectives. Arrangements weremade in advance by Apikan and WCIP with the active support of UNDP in New York.The Apikan/WCIP efforts were assisted throughout the mission with support fromSecretary of State Stewart and her staff.ARGENTINAIn Argentina meetings were held with UNDP staff, the President of the World Council ofIndigenous Peoples, the President of the National Indigenous Association (AIRA), thePresident of the National Indigenous Parliament, the national Indigenous Women’sleader and several other local Indigenous leaders. The meetings were used to explainthe Indigenous Peoples Development Initiative and to further discuss input fromIndigenous peoples from Argentina through the efforts of the UNDP office in BuenosAires and the collaboration of the State Agency concerned with Indigenous Affairs.Thanks to the Canadian officials, invitations were secured for the ArgentineanIndigenous leaders to attend the Luncheon with the Prime Minister and the receptionwith Prime Minister Chrétien and President Menem. This created the opportunity forthe Argentinean Indigenous leaders to briefly meet with Prime Minister Chrétien andPresident Menem, and the Argentinean Ministers of Finance and Education. (PrimeMinister Chrétien was especially pleased with this opportunity, as he was well aware ofthe founding of the World Council when he was a Minister of Prime Minister Truedeau’sPrime Ministerial Trade Mission to South America January 21 - 29, 1995Apikan/WCIP Report
-3-government). Secretary of State Stewart also met with the Indigenous leaders,including the national Indigenous Women’s leader for Argentina. The local leaderswere pleased with their meeting with Secretary Stewart, since she encouraged them toapproach the Canadian Embassy with information on their development initiatives.The inclusion of the Argentinean Indigenous leaders in the official functions shouldprove very beneficial for their domestic profile. Their presence at these functions provedto be a very effective channel for directing a national dialogue. In addition, it served tofurther strengthen the relationship with Apikan and the interest in working with otherCanadian Indigenous interests.CHILEAt the UNDP headquarters in Chile, we met with UNDP staff and a number ofIndigenous leaders and organizations. We briefed them on Apikan/UNDP/WCIPIndigenous Trade and Development initiative, and they briefed us on the situation ofIndigenous peoples in Chile. They were interested in the initiative, but expressed muchcaution regarding Chile joining NAFTA. They have a history of severe marginalizationand are concerned that NAFTA will maintain or increase their economic exclusion.The Indigenous leaders were interested in further exploring the idea of internationalindigenous partnerships, and plan to organize a national meeting on Indigenous tradeand development in Chile. This meeting will be part of a series of national meetingsbeing organized as part of the Apikan/UNDP/World Council initiative. They asked thatApikan and the World Council participate in this conference with the aim of furtheringinternational indigenous partnerships and sharing Canadian Indigenous developmentexperience. However, financial considerations are a factor in organizing this meetingand we hope the Canadian Embassy will be in a position so support these efforts.We were pleased to note the collaborative efforts between several Indigenousorganizations and their relationship with the UNDP and the National IndigenousDevelopment Corporation (CONADI). This will ensure continuity in the developmentprocess.In Chile we also met with representatives of the Mapuche Cultural Centre and briefedthem on the work that has been done and invited their input.Our work in Chile was important in terms of the NAFTA negotiations and the profile ofthe Prime Ministerial Trade Mission. As noted, Indigenous leaders expressed cautionabout NAFTA and did not feel at all part of the process. The inclusion of Apikan and theWorld Council in the Mission signaled positively the keen interest demonstrated by theCanadian Government towards the development of Indigenous Peoples. It also allowedthem to at least be open to the idea that increased trade between Chile and Canadacould result in opportunities and benefits for them. They are very keen to haveCanadian participation in their upcoming national meeting on Indigenous trade anddevelopment.Prime Ministerial Trade Mission to South America January 21 - 29, 1995Apikan/WCIP Report
-4-BRAZILNo meetings with Brazilian Indigenous organizations were organized, as all governmentinstitutions and other relevant organizations are based in Brasilia and the trade missionwent only to Rio de Janeiro. The time in Brazil was utilized to strengthen dialogue withCanadian business and trade officials.CONCLUSIONIn addition to meeting the original objectives, several concrete opportunities wereidentified for domestic cooperation between Indigenous businesses and other businessparticipating in the mission.The inclusion of Apikan and the World Council in the Prime Ministerial Trade Missionresulted in Indigenous organizations in the host countries feeling included, perhaps forthe first time, in a State visit of this type. It served as an opportunity to open dialoguewith them on trade and development and to enhance their positions in their respectivecountries.Prime Ministerial Trade Mission to South America January 21 - 29, 1995Apikan/WCIP Report