Funding boosts Whitefish Lake First Nation economy

(October 18, 2017) – The Alberta government has partnered with Whitefish Lake First Nation to increase economic opportunities by expanding its heavy equipment operation.

A grant has allowed the Whitefish Lake First Nation-owned company Atikameg Construction and Oilfield Maintenance to purchase five pieces of heavy equipment to be used in projects in the forestry, oil and gas and firefighting sectors.

“Alberta is proud to partner with Whitefish Lake First Nation in its business venture as it will help to create more jobs for community members and provide resources to improve services now and into the future,” said Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations. “First Nation businesses also contribute to healthier local economies by promoting growth and prosperity that makes life better for all Albertans.”

The $725,000 grant comes from the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund.

“This grant will mean greater employment and economic opportunities for our community members,” stated Robert Grey, Chief of Whitefish Lake First Nation.

 “We appreciate the Alberta government’s support to help First Nations like us become more self-sufficient.”

The purchase of a mulcher, bulldozer, sprayer system, lowboy trailer and service truck has reduced the need to rent equipment, reducing costs and creating 26 new jobs.

 Since 2016, the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund has provided $10 million to Indigenous community-owned businesses to invest in business opportunities that promote growth and jobs.

Whitefish Lake First Nation #459 is a Cree community located in Northern Alberta 63 kilometres north of High Prairie. The First Nation has a land base of 8,300 hectares and approximately 2,700 members (April 2017). 

The Nation is affiliated with Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council and is part of the Treaty 8 First Nations. 

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