$2.4 million in announced in FedNor funding for projects led by Indigenous communities and organizations across Northwestern Ontario
Tim Brody - Editor
The Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord is one of the area organizations which will benefit from Government of Canada investments totaling $2,404,901 in support of strategic initiatives led by Indigenous communities, businesses, and organizations in Northwestern Ontario.
The funding is being delivered in part through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program with additional funding being provided through FedNor’s Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario.
The funding was announced on Sept. 26 by Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor.
“The Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord is receiving an investment of $931,500 to support the creation of a Regional Indigenous Engagement Strategy. The strategy will include the hiring of a project coordinator, a consultation leader, two consultation specialists, and a researcher, who will work with industry, provincial and federal governments, and member communities to develop mining, forestry, energy, and large industrial and commercial project opportunities,” a FedNor media release explained.
“The Windigo Community Development Corporation (WCDC) is receiving a total of $726,725 for three separate initiatives:
WCDC is receiving an investment of $411,525 to fund an economic development officer position over a three-year period.
WCDC is receiving an investment of $163,700 to fund the creation of a conference, tradeshow, and regional economic development agency report on behalf of three tribal councils in Northwestern Ontario representing 17 First Nations communities.
WCDC is also receiving an investment of $151,500 to develop an Economic Development Strategic Plan and Implementation Plan.”
Also, “The Independent First Nations Alliance is receiving an investment of $450,000 to support the hiring of an economic development officer to assist its member communities of Whitesand First Nation, Lac Seul First Nation, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Pikangikum First Nation, and Muskrat Dam First Nation over a three-year period.”
Kasabonika Lake First Nation, “Is receiving a non-repayable investment of $296,676 to fund an economic development officer position over a three-year period.”
“These are investments in Indigenous-led projects that will help grow our regional economy. They will create good paying jobs for Indigenous families here. This is what reconciliation is all about: giving back the tools to Indigenous communities so they can once again take a leadership role in their economy,” stated Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor.
“This project is an incredibly important piece in establishing good governance, and the Government of Canada is fostering real Indigenous-led engagement. This will give us the tools needed to build meaningful relationships between Indigenous communities and natural resource developers, and through this work we intend to make investment in the region easier and more attractive for all parties. FedNor’s support is greatly appreciated and is key to our vision of developing vibrant, self-reliant communities and to improving the quality of life for everyone within our region,” shared Jake Dockstator, Executive Director, Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord.
“Windigo Community Development Corporation has strived to develop partnerships with organizations like FedNor for the betterment of our communities and to improve the quality of life for our members. The Government of Canada’s support is going to help us continue to capture revenue generation opportunities within our traditional territories, and to remain a key player in economic and community development in the North,” stated Frank McKay, CEO, Windigo Community Development
“We work to provide sustainability and autonomy for our member communities, and investments from FedNor help us do exactly that. This funding is going to help build capacity and to enable our members to move forward with economic development projects and to act on the many opportunities available in our area,” stated Mathew Hoppe, CEO, Independent First Nations Alliance.
“Our community’s strategic economic development plan is set to help us make informed decisions that most benefit our community, and FedNor’s support will help us bring in a skilled professional to put those decisions in motion. Being a remote community only emphasizes our unique potential, and this investment is a significant step towards realizing our goals,” shared Councillor Matthias Anderson, Kasabonika Lake First Nation.