(August 23, 2018) – Loon River First Nation has used an Alberta government grant to help construct a full-service truck stop, creating jobs and helping build the community’s economic future.
“This business creates economic opportunities and jobs while providing essential services for the region, making life better for this community and future generations,” stated Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations.
“Through investments like these, we are helping Indigenous communities achieve their goal of economic self-sufficiency, which is an important part of reconciliation.”
The facility includes an Esso-branded fuel station, convenience store and fast food kiosks, offering travelers and residents’ convenient access to gas, food and beverages.
“It’s so satisfying to know that an entire community is benefiting from this truck stop, which will also serve an entire region while providing valuable work experience,” added Danielle Larivee, Lesser Slave Lake MLA. “By working together today, we’re building a better tomorrow.”
The project has created 29 new permanent, full-time jobs and supported training and skill development within the Nation. It will also increase economic opportunities for the community and the region through ongoing sales revenue and by attracting other businesses to the area.
“Loon River First Nation continues to move towards and through the challenges to encourage economic growth,” stated Loon River First Nation Chief Bernadette Sharpe.
“The Elders say ‘Piko ka akameetamuk.’ This means we must keep making the effort, work hard and not give up. We appreciate the partnerships and support of the Government of Alberta.”
Arthur Noskey, Grand Chief of Treaty 8 First Nations remarked, “The truck stop is part of a larger effort by Loon River First Nation to generate more of their own revenue. With these funds, the Nation is able make investments such as building new housing and upgrading roads without being dependent on other orders of government for assistance.”
The $700,000 grant was provided through the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund, which provides funding to eligible Indigenous community-owned businesses and organizations to support economic development and improve social outcomes for Indigenous peoples in Alberta.
Photo Caption: Minister Feehan tours new truck stop with members of Loon River First Nation, Grand Chief of Treaty 8 Arthur Noskey, and MLA Larivee.