\ Government of Canada Invests in Indigenous Economic Development across Western Canada
Company News: Page (1) of 1 - 03/13/18

Government of Canada Invests in Indigenous Economic Development across Western Canada


March 13, 2018 --

Forty-five First Nations, Indigenous businesses and programs to receive more than $27 million to expand their business activities and pursue new economic opportunities

VICTORIA, March 13, 2018 /CNW/ - Indigenous businesses and programs across the West will have support to grow their operations and create jobs in Indigenous communities thanks to new funding from the Government of Canada.

Today at the Songhees Nation, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced more than $27 million for 45 projects in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, through the Western Diversification Program (WDP). The announcement was made at the Songhees Innovation Centre, a co-working space that received funding through WDP to help Indigenous entrepreneurs thrive in Canada's growing tech sector.

The projects represent an array of economic activities, from rural First Nations installing solar equipment to generate power for their communities to post-secondary institutions launching programs to train the next generation of Indigenous workers. These investments will contribute to the prosperity of Indigenous communities across the Western provinces by making it easier for businesses to create jobs and capitalize on economic opportunities.

The funding announced today follows an investment of $2,250,000 to the Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia, announced by the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, on January 22, 2018. That investment was also made under WDP and is supporting over 400 Aboriginal cultural tourism businesses in B.C.

Following this event, Minister Bains will travel to Haida Gwaii to make an important high-speed Internet funding announcement on behalf of the Governments of Canada and British Columbia. This funding will benefit Canadians living in rural and remote communities.


"The success of Indigenous businesses is essential to building a strong, innovative and inclusive Canadian economy. I am proud that the Government of Canada is investing in these 45 projects and supporting Indigenous communities across the West."
The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

"Songhees Nation is proud to host this announcement in recognition of the entrepreneurial spirit and economic contributions of Indigenous businesses across Canada, and we are grateful and inspired to be the recipient of funding that supports the ongoing success of Indigenous entrepreneurs at the Songhees Innovation Centre. Our Council saw the importance of an initiative like this taking shape in our building, and we are grateful to Animikii Indigenous Technology for seizing this opportunity and working with us to create this unique co-working space where they are now located. We are witnessing the emergence of a growing number of impassioned Indigenous graduates and business people for whom the co-working environment is a natural catalyst for launching and growing entrepreneur-driven enterprises. Today's announcement honours our entrepreneurs, our creatives, and our partners, South Island Prosperity Project, Victoria Foundation and Community Micro-lending who continue to collaborate with us to realize the goals of the Songhees Innovation Centre and the aspirations of Indigenous entrepreneurs."
Chief Ron Sam, Songhees Nation

Backgrounder: Indigenous Economic Growth Announcement

A skilled and entrepreneurial workforce is critical to drive economic growth in Western Canada. The investments announced today are part of the Western Diversification Program (WDP), the main program through which WD makes strategic investments in initiatives that enhance and strengthen the economy of Western Canada.

Today's announcement is for 45 Indigenous Economic Growth projects across the four Western provinces:



Project Description



C-FER Technologies (1999) Inc.

Develop and implement an Indigenous pipeline monitoring program

Edmonton, AB 


Norquest College

Develop and implement an Indigenous Pipeline Construction Worker Program

Edmonton, AB 


Oteenow Employment and Training Society

Deliver an office skills development and testing program to Indigenous people

Edmonton, AB 


Yellowhead Tribal Development Foundation

Develop an innovative database to manage skills, employment and traditional lands

Edmonton, AB 


Alberta Indian Investment Corporation

Increase the capacity of Alberta Indian Investments to generate Indigenous business growth

Enoch, AB 


Beaver First Nation

Purchase heavy equipment to expand First Nation business opportunities

High Level, AB 


Acden Operations Ltd.

Establish Indigenous beekeeping demonstration project

Fort McMurray, AB 


Pimee Well Servicing Ltd.

Purchase equipment to expand First Nation business opportunities

Kehewin, AB 


Neyaskweyak Group of Companies Inc.

Develop a solar park for sustainable energy for the Ermineskin Cree Nation

Maskwacis, AB 


Siksika Resource Developments Ltd.

Purchase heavy equipment to expand First Nation business opportunities

Siksika, AB 


Wabasca & Region Atoske Action Group Society

Deliver pre-healthcare career training to local Indigenous people in the Wabasca Region

Wabasca, AB 


Heiltsuk Economic Development Corporation

Support Indigenous business development in seafood processing sector

Bella Bella, BC


Ktunaxa Nation Council Society

Support Indigenous business development in mining for the Ktunaxa Nation

Cranbrook, BC 


Stó:lo Community Futures Corporation

Deliver business training, acceleration, and incubation for Sto:lo Indigenous businesses

Chilliwack, BC 


Lower Kootenay Indian Band

Develop Yaqan Indigenous Agriculture Business

Creston, BC 


Nicola Valley Institute of Technology

Establish an Aboriginal Centre of Excellence in Sustainability in Merritt, BC

Merritt, BC 


Squamish Indian Band

Acquire equipment and upgrade the Squamish Nation Training and Trades Centre in BC

North Vancouver, BC 


Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Construct transmission system to support Indigenous clean energy infrastructure

Tofino, BC 


Emily Carr University of Art and Design

Support Indigenous training/business development in virtual/augmented reality technology

Vancouver, BC


Songhees First Nation

Establish Songhees Innovation Centre for Indigenous businesses on Vancouver Island

Victoria, BC 


University of Victoria

Deliver the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) Artists Pilot Program in BC

Victoria, BC 


First Nations Technology Council

Increase Indigenous access to digital skills training in BC

West Vancouver, BC 


Dandzen Development Limited Partnership

Develop the Tsilhqot'In Solar Farm in Chilcotin, BC

Williams Lake, BC 


Assiniboine Community College

Purchase and equip trailers for trade-related training in Indigenous communities

Brandon, MB 


Fisher River Economic Development Corporation

Install a solar farm in Fisher River Cree Nation

Koostatak, MB 


Atoskiwin Training and Employment Centre

Expand trades training at Atoskiwin Training and Employment Centre

Nelson House, MB 


Manitoba Food Charter Inc. (Food Matters Manitoba)

Establish a portable farming system in Norway House, Manitoba

Norway House, MB


Norway House Pharmacy Ltd.

Purchase automated pharmaceutical equipment to expand business opportunities

Norway House, MB 


Aki Energy Incorporated

Install geothermal heating systems in 600 First Nation homes in Manitoba

Winnipeg, MB 


Broadband Communications North Inc.

Establish a centre to support upgrade and expansion of broadband access to First Nations

Winnipeg, MB 


Manitoba Construction Sector Council

Establish a blast hole drilling training program

Winnipeg, MB 


Fond du Lac First Nation Development Limited Partnership

Enhance Fond-du-Lac aviation and commercial access in Northern Saskatchewan

Fond du Lac, SK 


Mitacs Inc.

Support Indigenous communities by creating the Northern Saskatchewan Policy Unit

Ile-a-la-Crosse, SK 


Keewatin Career Development Corporation

Develop the Non-Timber Forest Product industry in Northern Saskatchewan

La Ronge, SK 


Flying Dust Market Garden, Ltd.

Support expansion of market garden storage and processing facilities

Meadow Lake, SK 


Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs Inc

Facilitate Indigenous employment through assessment, training and industry placement

North Battleford, SK 


First Alliance Energy Services

Strengthen First Nations business capacity in construction and energy service sectors

Saskatoon, SK 


Gabriel Dumont Institute Training and Employment Inc.

Create an entrepreneurship program to assist Métis clients in Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, SK 


Indigenous Tourism Association of Canada

Develop Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta Indigenous tourism organizations

Saskatoon, SK


Wanuskewin Heritage Park Authority

Support Wanuskewin Heritage Park expansion through the establishment of exhibit galleries

Saskatoon, SK 


Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan Inc.

Develop and deliver entrepreneurship curriculum for Indigenous women in Saskatchewan

Saskatoon, SK 


Cowessess First Nation

Expand and commercialize a hybrid renewable energy generation system

Regina, SK 


First Nations Power Authority of Saskatchewan Inc.

Enhance renewable energy partnerships and build capacity for First Nations

Regina, SK 


Pro Metal Industries Ltd.

Support Indigenous participation in metal manufacturing sector

Regina, SK 


Pro Metal Industries Ltd.

Advance commercialization of industrial C02e-reducing incineration technology

Regina, SK





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