For-benefit corporations and urban Indigenous community economic development: a case study of the Métis Economic Development Organization (MEDO) in Manitoba, Canada
Despite long standing efforts at income assistance and community development, the income gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Canadians continues to grow (Adelson, 2005, p. 53). Indigenous people are also overrepresented in the “poorer populations” of Canada’s urban communities (Peters & Walker, 2005). This research is a case study of the Métis Economic Development Organization (MEDO), a Winnipeg-based For-Benefit company designed to support the Métis community in Manitoba, Canada through its elected government, the Manitoba, Métis Federation (MMF). Given that Winnipeg has the largest Métis population in Canada (Statistics Canada, 2013b), this research highlights MEDO’s place within the spectrum of approaches to urban Indigenous community economic development. Through participant interviews, a narrative is presented which emphasizes the challenges in overcoming (and embracing) certain stereotypes, a strong separation between business and government, and the role planners may have in fostering a healthy environment where for-benefit enterprises may flourish and empower urban Indigenous people in Winnipeg, MB.
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