Half of the $500,000 project will be funded by Protein Industries Canada. The remaining half will be contributed by Nutrien, along with other public funding programs.
Led by Indigenous Works, the project is part of the organization’s Luminary Initiative, a six-year program created to advance Indigenous-led research and innovation that will transform economies, generate employment and improve well-being of Indigenous groups in Canada. The Luminary Initiative brings together a consortium of more than 140 organizations from the Indigenous research and business communities to discuss and co-create Indigenous innovation strategies for a variety of sectors.
In addition to the Luminary consortium, Indigenous Works has joined forces with the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Regina, partners who will provide research support and strategic guidance throughout the project. From an industry standpoint, Nutrien has committed as a presenting sponsor in addition to providing in-kind support as a leader in innovative and sustainable agronomic practices. Farm Credit Canada will also support the initiative, joined by other companies in the sector that wish to contribute to the discussion.
The consortium will map the current state of Indigenous participation in the agrifood sector identifying ways of increasing the following:
• Collaborations between post-secondary researchers and Indigenous businesses;
• Research knowledge mobilizations and new product/service innovations; and
• Employment and business development.
“Indigenous people want to expand their national and global businesses in ways which bring economic prosperity, jobs and well-being to their communities, and this will help all Canadians.
By advancing an innovation culture with Indigenous businesses and communities, and growing the collaborations among researchers, research agencies and Indigenous business, we can develop new products, new service lines, new innovative approaches and solutions that are good for all Canadians and the Canadian economy.”- Indigenous Works President and CEO Kelly Lendsay
The finalized Strategy will be used by the plant-based food, feed and ingredient ecosystem to create programs, policies and initiatives to address identified gaps and improve diversity and inclusion of Indigenous people.
Indigenous Works is inviting any company or organization in the Canadian agriculture and agrifood sector that would like to contribute to take part in the discussion. The ‘Luminary Innovation Strategy for the Indigenous Agriculture/Agrifood Sector’ presented by Nutrien, will be completed by March 2022.