The Government of Canada has announced new funding for Indigenous businesses and programs in Saskatchewan.
On March 15, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Ralph Goodale highlighted investments of more than $7.5 million for 14-projects in Saskatchewan through the Western Diversification Program (WDP) on behalf of Navdeep Bains, the minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).
“Investing in Indigenous businesses and organizations will help build a more innovative and inclusive economy in Saskatchewan while fostering the skills and resources required for Indigenous peoples to fully participate in the economy and strengthen their communities,” says Goodale.
The 14 projects are set to improve commercial access and business services for northern and rural Indigenous communities, increase Indigenous training and employment in growing economic sectors, expand tourism resources and support Indigenous organizations that are promoting clean technology.
This will include Pro Metal Industries Ltd., a company owned by the Pasqua First Nation in Regina, who are promoting Indigenous participation in advanced manufacturing, including metal manufacturing and the commercialization of industrial carbon dioxide equivalent reducing incineration technology.
“For Pasqua First Nation, the acquisition of Pro Metal Industries – and our expansion into the agricultural, defence, and oil and gas supply chains – was an important step toward securing long-term social and economic prosperity,” Pasqua First Nation Chief Todd Peigan said.
“Now, going forward with the support of Western Economic Diversification Canada and other partners, our band will be able to leverage this vehicle to bolster the skills of our members, accelerate private sector-Indigenous engagement, and contribute meaningfully to the protection of our traditional lands and waterways. This is about showing the world what our people can do.”
These investments in Saskatchewan WDP projects are part of an announcement of over $27 million made by Minister Bains on March 13 at the Songhees Nation in British Columbia, supporting 45 Indigenous projects across Western Canada.