The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development and the Council of the Great Lakes Region Announce Partnership

Both organizations plan to leverage their respective strengths, networks, and activities to deepen Indigenous trade, investment, and innovation across Indian Country

Toronto, Ontario and Cleveland, Ohio – The National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (The National Center) is pleased to partner with the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) and work together on ways to strengthen Indigenous trade, investment, entrepreneurship, and innovation across the Great Lakes Region, as well as focusing on building greater inter-tribal business and mobility across the border established by the United States and Canada. The two organizations recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) laying out these goals and the partnership.

Both organizations plan to conduct, advance, and promote policy research and programs that encourage Indigenous trade and business, as well as organizing and hosting regional conferences, developing proposals to securing funding for joint research, programs, and events focused on Great lakes Indigenous issues of mutual interest. In addition, this partnership will work to elevate awareness through their respective publications and online platforms, such as the CGLR’s Great Lakes Ready business portal and the National Center’s Native Edge online business ecosystem.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Council of the Great Lakes Region and are excited to begin working together towards creating greater Indigenous trade between the United States and Canada,” said Chris James, President and CEO of the National Center. “This partnership will allow us to enhance regional collaboration and cross-border integration, creating the opportunity to improve the well-being of Indian Country’s communities, as well as their economic strengths and standings.”

James recently spoke at the Great Lakes Economic Forum in Cleveland, where he outlined some of the challenges and opportunities for cross-border and inter-tribal trade.

“The Great Lakes economic region is a dynamic, international marketplace, and is the traditional territory of numerous tribes whose history and culture are defined by the boundary separating the United States and Canada in the region,” said Mark Fisher, President and CEO of the Council. “Through this unique partnership, our focus will be to deepen inter-tribal trade and investment in the region and support Indigenous entrepreneurs and innovators who are trying to compete and win, not only in the Great Lakes economy, but also around the world with the help of other organizations like the International Inter-Tribal Trade and Investment Organisation.”

For more information:

Mark Fisher
613-668-2044 /

Chris James
480.545.1298 /

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