VANCOUVER -- A new survey shows there is strong support for Indigenous entrepreneurs to develop and grow their businesses, with more than three quarters saying it's an important step in healing relationships.

The survey results, which were released in the week before National Indigenous Peoples Day, suggest 79 per cent of Canadians believe Indigenous participation in the economy helps "strengthen the country's social fabric."

The online poll was conducted by Leger on behalf of Sodexo Canada. Results also show 76 per cent believe supporting Indigenous business is an important part in repairing Canada's relationships with First Nations, Inuit and Métis people.

Part of that, the survey's results suggest, includes Canadian corporations helping Indigenous entrepreneurs take their businesses to the next level and providing on-going support like training for Indigenous companies. Of those polled, 71 per cent are in favour of those actions.

"The success of Indigenous businesses clearly matters to Canadians," said Tabatha Bull, president and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, in a news release.

"The fact that Canadians expect the private sector to step up with action to help Indigenous entrepreneurs sends a powerful message to decision makers."

Fifty-nine per cent of those surveyed said they think having robust Indigenous participation in Canada's economy should be prioritized more by governments and the private sector.

Jonathan Kruger, director of Indigenous relations for Sodexo Canada, told CTV News Vancouver the survey results were "a really nice surprise."

"As an Indigenous person it makes me feel really good to see something like this … it shows that we're willing to work together again," he said.

"There's many successful business leaders out there, nations, and I'm very proud of them. There (are) other nations that want to become successful as well and we need to help them."

A survey of 1,589 Canadians was conducted online between May 28 and May 30, 2021. A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 per cent, 19 times out of 20.