This paper is part of a larger research study on the Aboriginal co-operative movement (A Report on Aboriginal Co-operatives in Canada: Current Situation and Potential for Growth). The study was initiated by the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA) and le Conseil canadien de la coopération (CCC). The objective of the study was to build knowledge and awareness about the current state and contributions of Aboriginal co-operatives to regional and community development. The present paper has been developed as a backgrounder for the complete study. It focuses mainly on key measures of socio-economic performance of Aboriginal cooperatives.