(ANNews) – The Alberta government has provided $675,000 to help Beaver First Nation purchase a bulldozer and expand its heavy equipment operation.
On February 24, 2017, Alberta Minister of Indigenous Relations Richard Feehan met with Beaver First Nation Chief Trevor Mercredi and Finning Canning Executive Vice President David Primrose at Beaver First Nation to announce the grant which will be used to purchase a D6T Cat Bulldozer.
“Alberta is proud to support this business venture as it will help to create good jobs and diversify the economy,” stated Minister Richard Feehan. “It opens doors for a new revenue stream for Beaver First Nation and creates employment opportunities for community members. First Nation businesses also contribute to healthier local economies promoting growth and prosperity that makes life better for all Albertans.”
The purchase of the D6T Cat bulldozer will allow the First Nation to gain and maintain contracts by maximizing uptime. Potential contracts could involve road work in the forestry industry, forest fire mitigation projects through the provincial FireSmart Program and brush clearing.
“We appreciate this grant from the Province of Alberta which will ensure that our community has the capacity to create employment and training opportunities for members of Beaver First Nation and help First Nations like us become more self-sufficient,” noted Chief Trevor Mercredi.
It is anticipated that Beaver First Nation members will also benefit from training and employment opportunities as mechanics or heavy equipment operators.
“Finning is proud to continue our partnership with Beaver First Nation as they invest in the local economy with this new business venture,” explained David Primrose. “They’ve picked a great piece of equipment in a Cat D6T and our local team will be there to provide on-going technical support and service.”
Funding for the purchase was provided through the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund (ABIF). Since 2016, the ABIF has provided $10 million to Indigenous community-owned businesses. The fund provides direct investment into eligible businesses opportunities in First Nations communities that promote growth and jobs.