(May 2019) – On May 23, 2019, Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Indigenous Services, congratulated Chief Darcy Dixon and Bearspaw First Nation on the grand opening of the Bearspaw Kananaskis Travel Centre.
This 6,000 square foot building includes the Bearspaw First Nation owned and operated gas station, drive-through coffee shop and convenience store, that opened in January 2019.
The Travel Centre has created full time and part time jobs in the community and generates revenues for the Stoney Band from leases and contributes to the economic development and business growth on Stoney Band’s designated lands.
“This is another major step forward for Bearspaw First Nation,” stated Chief Dixon, “and our goal of self-sufficiency through business and economic development for the benefit of our membership and our community.”
Funding was provided through the Community Opportunity Readiness Program (CORP) of Indigenous Services Canada. CORP funding helps First Nations and Inuit communities develop business plans, expand existing Indigenous-led businesses and launch new Indigenous-led start-ups.
“The Government of Canada is immensely proud to be a funding partner for the Bearspaw Kananaskis Travel Centre,” stated Minister O’Regan. “My congratulations to Chief Dixon and all members of the Bearspaw First Nation on the grand opening of the Centre which will provide jobs and economic benefits for the entire community.”
Bearspaw First Nation, a part of the Stoney Band, is located approximately 75 km west of Calgary. The community has a population of over 1,800 people on reserve. Bearspaw is one of the three First Nations that make up Stoney Band, along with the Wesley and Chiniki First Nations.
The Stoney Band received funding of $700,000 from the Community Opportunities Readiness Program towards eligible activities to construct the Travel Centre.
The Stoney Band has 238 acres of designated lands for commercial development. The Stoney Nakoda Resort (casino, hotel and restaurant) and the Travel Centre are located on these lands.