Members of the Blood Tribe will benefit from a multimillion dollar project announced on Tuesday.
“We have completed the business plan for an 11,000 square foot grocery store and the model will be Co-Op as the supplier,” says Rob Crow, the Director of Economic Development of the Blood Tribe.
Residents like Lewis Littlebear, who have lived in Stand Off all of their lives, say the Kainai Food Market is desperately needed.
“It’s about an hour to Lethbridge and an hour both ways to Cardston. There are a lot of locals that don’t have transportation,” adds Littlebear
With a population of over 12,000, the Blood Reserve is the largest in Canada. However, there are few amenities and currently no alternative to convenience store junk food.
In a survey conducted by Council in September of 2014, 93 percent of respondents said they felt a grocery store was important.
“We kind of see this as an anchor store and other things could open up in the area,” explains Little Bear.
Blood Tribe officials are counting on the community to keep their dollars in Stand Off, and this will certainly help.
“We need to stand behind this supermarket because it’s going to be creating employment for people. We just need to help to sustain some of our economy,” says Councillor Myron Eagle Speaker.
The market is scheduled to open in November of 2016.