January 23, 2021

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Indigenous Economic Development News


August 9, 2018





Indigenous Tourism Hitting New Strides in Saskatchewan: An Interview with Christian Boyle  


By Heather Exner-Pirot


"The whole industry is becoming more feasible now because Indigenous tourism is on the rise globally. There is a market getting increasingly interested in it - consumers looking for authentic experiences.  

The whole industry is seeing a move from the sightseeing that boomers enjoy, to a younger audience looking to have experiences - and then wanting to document that and social share and Instagram it. Indigenous tourism is well-suited to this demand because so much of the culture is about closeness to the land. That translates well into the experiential."









Cameco to lay off 700 employees from Sask operations

MBC News

Saskatoon's Cameco corporation has announced it is laying off 700 employees.

The announcement came on Wednesday afternoon as the uranium mining company released its second-quarter results.

Cameco CEO Tim Gitzel says the layoffs are the result of weaker than expected markets and net losses of $76 million.

The company says the weakened markets also mean the continued shutdown of the McArthur River and Key Lake mining sites for an indefinite period of time. Approximately 550 employees are being laid off at these two sites and another 150 at Cameco's head office in Saskatoon.




Fintech startup looks to expedite tax-free shopping online for First Nations

Globe & Mail

Richard Cochrane thinks he has the solution for a problem that has plagued First Nations online shoppers since the start of the digital age.

That solution is his fintech startup, Status Exempt. The 29-year-old entrepreneur has developed a service and plugin for Shopify Inc.'s e-commerce platform that allows First Nations people to shop online without being charged the harmonized sales tax (HST), provincial sales tax or goods-and-services tax.

First Nations people who buy items online and have them shipped to a reserve are exempt from these taxes on purchases. But Mr. Cochrane says most retailers do not have an online process that takes the taxes off immediately. First Nations shoppers must submit their receipts to a provincial ministry of finance or the Canada Revenue Agency to get a refund, which Mr. Cochrane says can take up to 90 days to arrive.

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"I'm thinking about 500,000 First Nations live in rural areas," Mr. Cochrane says.




Aerospace parts plant touted for Opaskwayak Cree Nation

Winnipeg Free Press  


An ambitious and potentially ground breaking project to develop an aerospace parts plant at the Opaskwayak Cree Nation near The Pas is moving closer to getting the go-ahead.

Interviews will be taking place place shortly to fill key positions in the early stages of the enterprise, as the band and the Manitoba Aerospace Association finalize the actual business plan. At this point, the plan is for the plant to produce and assemble a couple of specific machined-metal parts.

The project was conceived more than a year ago as an industry effort to reach out to the Indigenous community of the province and better engage with that community, which will soon represent a significant portion of the provincial labour pool.




Portage Avenue urban reserve to include cannabis shop, pain clinic

CBC News 


A retail cannabis shop, restaurant and pain management clinic are some of the planned retail tenants for a 14,000-square-foot urban reserve on Portage Avenue, Peguis First Nation officials announced at a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday.

The $6.5-million retail component of the development is expected to be completed by December with tenants moving in next year.

"It is long overdue," Peguis Chief Glenn Hudson said of the deal that has been five years in the making. "This city and this country is based on developments and I think with First Nations it is no different."




White Bear aims to open province's first on-reserve marijuana dispensary

Eagle Feather News  


With legalization of cannabis on the horizon, White Bear First Nation wants to become the first reserve to operate an on-reserve cannabis dispensary.

"Jobs can be created and a sense of livelihood can be provided to our people," said Dez Standingready, Councillor of White Bear First Nation. "It is definitely an opportunity for Indigenous peoples to generate some own sourced revenues."

The White Bear First Nation is located in the southeast corner of Saskatchewan and is "known as the community that likes to be in the forefront, the leader in different things," said Amber Maxie, a White Bear band member who now resides in Regina.

The benefits of retailing cannabis on-reserve "would reduce the risk of users of cannabis being exposed to harmful additives," said Chief Lynn Acoose of Sakimay First Nation. "Patients seeking alternative treatment with CBD or THC for a variety of medical issues find access difficult and cost prohibitive. A dispensary on reserve would improve access and reduce costs and help with eliminating black-market supply."


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2018 Saskatchewan Indigenous Business Forum - Indigenous Tourism  

Saskatoon Inn

September 24, 2018


Saskatchewan Links to Learning

Saskatoon Inn 

September 25-27, 2018


Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation
Saskatoon Inn
October 10-12, 2018


Saskatchewan First Nations Safety Association

Treaty Four Governance Centre, Fort Qu'Appelle 

October 17, 2018


2018 CANDO Conference

Enoch River Cree Resort

October 22-25, 2018


International Indigenous Tourism Conference

TCU Place, Saskatoon

October 30-31, 2018