The province of Ontario is investing $100,000 in the creation of an economic development corporation in Hiawatha First Nation.
On Tuesday morning, Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini announced the funding for a “comprehensive economic development study” to identify and research economic development opportunities for the region south of Peterborough.
The funding is part of the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs’ $8.2-million Indigenous Economic Development Fund (IEDF), which provides grants and financing to Indigenous Ontario businesses, communities and organizations to develop and improve economic development.
“This funding will support economic growth in Hiawatha by creating opportunities for community ownership and sustainability,” Piccini said. “We will continue to nurture business development and job creation in our communities with investments like this.”
Hiawatha First Nation Chief Laurie Carr says the funding will allow the community to complete the work needed for the “long-awaited” creation of an economic development corporation (EDC).
“Hiawatha citizens have stressed the importance of ensuring the business and economic development interests of the nation are kept separate from day-to-day politics, and the IEDF announcement provides the opportunity to address this priority through the creation of the EDC,” she said.
“The new EDC will not only direct and oversee our current businesses but will also create and consider new business ventures, which in turn will create employment and economic sustainability for our citizens and our community, now and for our seven generations to come.”
In a statement, Greg Rickford, provincial minister of Indigenous affairs, said the government is committed to working with Indigenous communities as an “essential part of building Ontario together.”
“We are proud to support these projects that strengthen local economies across the province and provide opportunities for economic development and job growth.”
More to come.