Indigenous Knowledge Collaboration

Exploring economic partnerships for Indigenous and Traditional Leadership on both sides of Canada-Africa Trade and Investment     


Indigenous knowledge is vital to effective Canada-Africa trade and investment. Successful communities have enabled local businesses and community well-being - grounded in institutions informed by longstanding tradition, knowledge and insights. View the proceedings:                

On Thursday 17 February we welcomed top private sector and civil society insights, followed by post-panel addresses from the Government of Canada - who outlined their support for natural resource development in Africa, and the Canadian business innovators ready to partner.      

In Canada, Chief Jerry Asp - founding President of the Tahltan Nation Development Corporation - is credited with helping to take his Nation from 98% unemployment to full employment as a thriving community once again.             

In Africa, Botswana rose rapidly from one of the third poorest countries in the world at independence to upper middle income status. Accounting for its success, Ghanaian economist George Ayittey described Botswana as an African country which ''went back to its roots and built upon its own indigenous institutions''.               

 The Program


Proceedings will include keynote Ministerial-level remarks delivered by MP Arif Virani, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development.

The Government of Canada will also follow panel discussion; covering current and new initiatives to support natural resource development - to be shared by Global Affairs Canada. These details will include participation at the Mining Indaba, taking place from 9-12 May 2022 in Cape Town, South Africa.                        


Jerry Asp, Chief and member of the Tahltan Nation

Jerry Asp is one of Western Canada’s most prominent Indigenous leaders and a tireless advocate for the inclusion of Indigenous Peoples in the mining industry. His leadership skills came to the fore in the 1980s, during a mineral exploration and mining boom in the “Golden Triangle” of northwestern British Columbia. As a chief and member of the Tahltan Nation, he understood his community’s concerns about development taking place on their traditional lands.    
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Rejoice Ngwenya is the founder of the Coalition for Market and Liberal Solutions [COMALISO] Zimbabwe, an organization whose mission is to respect, adopt and implement innovative ideas; strengthening the market economy, respect for private property rights, and constitutionalism – ultimately entrenching responsible capitalism.

In Zimbabwe he is pioneer of the Khaya Lam project for land rights, began south of the border by Temba Nolutshungu - known for his history rooted in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.                  
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Sonia Molodecky is Co-Founder and President of the Global Indigenous Development Trust. Sonia has worked in natural resource law at two of Canada’s largest law firms as founder and National Chair of her firm’s Latin American Services Group. Sonia actively participates as a speaker around the world on topics related to meaningful community engagement, economic development, sustainability, the power of partnerships and the benefits of informed, empowered and engaged communities. Sonia works actively with the board, Aboriginal Advisors, staff and partners around the world to further the organization’s mission.   
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Post Panel: Government of Canada 

Claude Gendron, DESS, MSc, ALM, CITP 
Deputy Director (Commercial Relations), Southern and Eastern Africa Relations, Global Affairs Canada Read More

JP van der Merwe 
Trade Commissioner for Mining, Oil & Gas, Johannesburg Trade Office of the Canadian High Commission to South Africa Read More

Claude and JP addressed how Canada is supporting Canadian mining companies of all sizes for participation through the upcoming Mining Indaba in Cape Town, among a range of other services and incentives on offer.

Success stories abound in Canada and on the African continent, though are not often enough brought to the forefront of business and policy considerations.      

Indigenous knowledge and communities are however essential to accelerating Canada-Africa trade and investment for the benefit of all.                

In partnership with Global Affairs Canada, we are therefore honoured to have welcome top leaders on the subject for enriching discussion on a theme that is foundational to thriving communities.       

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