Four weeks of mahi and kōrero between indigenous businesswomen and men from two hemispheres have left political leaders with a raft of recommendations.
But that is "just the beginning".
Indigi-X, an indigenous exchange online, brought together 24 Canadians and Kiwis mixed in teams, each with economic issues to research and propose responses to for their Māori, First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations.
A series of Zoom presentations on Saturday was the culmination of the work for the teams who collaborated in their spare time between full-time work and their whānau responsibilities.
Rotorua Chamber of Commerce president and Kāhui Legal partner Kiri Tahana and Te Kohitanga o Ngāti Whakaue Assets Trust chief executive Taurua Grant were in a group that looked at common challenges for indigenous businesses in Canada and New Zealand, and ways businesses could support each other.
Grant spoke about the "limited access to capital as well as the need to develop the capabilities of our indigenous people so that we can grow our indigenous businesses to be in the position that we can compete".
Tahana raised the way support for businesses could be improved.
"It's really important that the support is right at the set-up stage before our entities are export-ready."
The group recommended the development of an indigenous procurement framework to help indigenous businesses land contracts and supply goods and services.
"This would look at both supply and demand, the private and public sector and the indigenous viewpoint as well," Tahana said.
Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta gave immediate feedback to the presentation via Zoom.
She said there was a "need to bring together with greater coherence all those entities that can provide support for Māori businesses from the start-up stage to export ready".
"I have Te Puni Kōkiri, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade working to bring that system together.
"The greatest lesson from indigenous countries is we cannot leave indigenous procurement to chance and there is merit to think about target-setting and moving from a volume to values-based target as we grow a robust Māori small and medium-sized enterprise [SME] ecosystem to take up the procurement advantage being sought.
"It goes without saying that the flow-through benefits of Māori enterprise have a direct bearing of lifting the household incomes and moving whānau out of the poverty and welfare trap."
Among the other Rotorua faces in the exchange was Aroha Dorset, Te Arawa Fisheries' commercial manager.
Her group looked at digital ways to help indigenous SMEs grow, because they find it "very difficult to break into business" and Covid-19 had exasperated this, Dorset said.
"E-commerce is one of the ways to combat this [Covid-19] decline in economic activity," she said.
The group recommended Canada and New Zealand establish a working group, and later expand to include other indigenous populations, and create a website platform for indigenous trade between nations and collaboration.
Te Arawa River Iwi Trust chief executive Eugene Berryman-Kamp was part of two groups, one of which focused on how indigenous groups could help steer the way to expanding clean energy supplies.
He spoke about how co-management and active engagement with indigenous groups to manage resources, was essential.
He said hydro, wind and geothermal energy resources were just some of the low-carbon electricity generation options available to iwi in New Zealand, and government commitments to reducing carbon emissions would increase the demand for these.
"There's no doubt ... we will need more [energy generation] options. And what we're proposing is the only way that they'll progress is through active engagement with indigenous groups."
Te Arawa Fisheries chief executive and Te Taumata chair Chris Karamea Insley helped to organise the event because indigenous groups in Canada and New Zealand "share so many common values".
He said the exchange had brought "high-calibre people together doing high-calibre thinking".
"I can't underline enough how talented they are."
The exchange was "just the beginning" and organisers now intend for the groups to develop business cases for investors.
A series of one-page documents highlighting the key messages and recommendations was created by each of the working groups.
A formal report would now be drafted and distributed to industry and government trade commissioners.
He hopes a face-to-face exchange would be possible when international travel restrictions lift but in the meantime he and his Canadian counterparts are recruiting for a new cohort to do another online exchange in the coming months.
Chief Gibby Jacob (Squamish) was equally pleased with the progress the groups made.
He told them the recommendations in Canada and New Zealand were "another step in the direction to being self-sufficient in our communities".
"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time."
"I want to see things change for our people," he said.
"That's always been the struggle, you know. We never asked to lose our resources. We never asked to be on welfare - money that's gained from all of our lands and resources."