These projects are expected to develop, maintain, or expand 126 businesses, create 85 new jobs, and train over 200 Indigenous persons.
On Aug 8, Karen McCrimmon, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Kanata-Carleton, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced $2,800,360 in funding towards four projects that will promote Indigenous tourism, skills development, and business growth.
- $1,000,000 through the Regional Innovation Ecosystem program stream for Indigenous Tourism Alberta to deliver a program that promotes, strengthens, and grows the Indigenous tourism industry in Alberta. Activities include developing and delivering multiple community tourism readiness programs, Alberta Indigenous tourism summits, and cultural awareness programs.
- $829,860 through the Western Diversification Program for the TsuuT'ina Nation to establish two skills training programs in Calgary: a First Nations culinary program in partnership with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and the Seven Chiefs Fitness Complex Women's Personal Fitness Trainer Development program in partnership with Mount Royal University. The accredited programs will promote Indigenous economic growth by pre-qualifying participants for employment opportunities at various Nation-based enterprises.
- $750,000 through the Western Diversification Program for O'Chiese Contracting Limited Partnership (OCLP) to purchase construction equipment to support First Nation business opportunities. The equipment will enable OCLP to compete for new contracts and build on existing contracts with other resource development companies.
- $220,500 through the Regional Innovation Ecosystem program stream for Business Link to deliver a two-year outreach program that will help to increase the access of Indigenous businesses to federal government procurement opportunities. These outreach events will build awareness of procurement opportunities, identify Indigenous businesses that are procurement-ready, and provide training to businesses so they are able to bid on federal opportunities.
“We are incredibly pleased to collaborate with the Government of Canada to support the development of authentic Indigenous tourism in Alberta. The key to success for the future of Indigenous tourism is the ability to foster and build collaborative relationships with key partners. This partnership supports Indigenous Tourism Alberta’s mission to provide leadership in the development and marketing of authentic Indigenous tourism experiences in this growing industry.”
– Tarra Wright Many Chief, Executive Director Indigenous Tourism Alberta
"The financial support provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada today will assist in the expansion of O’Chiese Contracting to allow the O’Chiese people to participate in economic opportunities beyond the boundaries of our Nation.”
– Chief Douglas Beaverbones, O’Chiese First Nation