Province encourages Indigenous business growth in northern Alberta

(May 2018) – With funding from the Alberta government, the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation has built a new laundry service to support local industry.

With a large amount of oilfield activity in the region, the Nation saw an opportunity to grow their economy by constructing an eco-friendly commercial laundry facility. They applied for support from Alberta’s Aboriginal Business Investment Fund and received $492,000 for the project.

 “This new business has allowed us the opportunity to provide sustainable employment for a few of our members,” remarked Chipewyan First Nation Chief Vern Janvier. “With employment like this, our people can establish long-term plans and goals, just like other Albertans.”

L-R: Aaron Cardinal, Minister Feehan, Jane Stroud, councillor, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Erica Janvier, Chief Vern Janvier, Channing Napoose, Autumn Marcel and Marcel Janvier, councillor, Chipewyan Prairie First Nation.

There were 20 new jobs created during construction of this facility and 8 permanent full-time jobs have been created. As a direct result of the establishment of this facility, a local entrepreneur created a new business providing the laundry with water and wastewater disposal services, helping to stimulate the local economy.

“Alberta is proud to support this business venture,” stated Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations. “It creates a new revenue stream for the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation that can be used to reinvest in important community services and employment and training opportunities for community members. First Nation businesses contribute to healthier economies by promoting growth and prosperity that makes life better for all Albertans.”

Established in 2015-16, the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund has provided $15 million to 24 Indigenous community-owned businesses in a variety of sectors to promote growth and jobs. Sectors include finance, construction and maintenance, forestry, the service industry, tourism and communications.

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