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From: Western Economic Diversification Canada
October 30, 2018 – Whitecap Dakota First Nation, Saskatchewan – Western Economic Diversification Canada
Indigenous tourism and business development present significant growth opportunities for the Canadian economy. In all sectors, increasing the participation of Indigenous business leads to better outcomes for all Canadians.
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, announced investments totalling over $1.5 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada for four Indigenous projects.
The following four projects supported include:
- $600,000 to enable Whitecap Dakota First Nation, in partnership with Wanuskewin Heritage Park and Beardy’s & Okemasis First Nation, to develop an Indigenous tourism corridor along the South Saskatchewan River near Saskatoon.
- $80,825 for Meadow Lake Tribal Council Program services to develop the Indigenous tourism industry in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan.
- $315,000 for the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) to establish an Indigenous Practical Nursing education program.
- $550,000 to enable the Pinehouse Business North Development to purchase heavy equipment to strengthen construction company operations.
The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, and is expected to create over 60 middle-class jobs for Canadians.
“Canada’s Indigenous communities are a rich and vitally important part of our country’s cultural fabric. The Government of Canada is proud to partner with Indigenous communities and institutions to create new economic opportunities. Investing in these initiatives will showcase First Nations culture and history, support good jobs, and contribute to a stronger economy for all.”
The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
” This tourism partnership with Wanuskewin and Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation will provide more Indigenous experiences to the guests of our Dakota Dunes Resort and speed the process of becoming export ready for the international market place.”
Chief Darcy Bear, Whitecap Dakota First Nation
“Wanuskewin is thrilled to partner with Whitecap Dakota First Nation and Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation to create an Indigenous tourism framework in Treaty 6 Territory. By working together, we’re able to enrich the tourism experience for visitors, while offering more robust training opportunities for tourism professionals in the region. As we aim for UNESCO World Heritage designation, partnerships like this are critical to further developing and sharing the stories of Wanuskewin as a gathering place for all nations.”
Candace Wasacase-Lafferty, Chair, Wanuskewin Board of Directors
“The Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation, as a partner of the Indigenous Tourism Corridor project, welcomes the announcement from the Government of Canada to support this important community building and economic development initiative. We will share stories from our history, we will share our culture, we will share the hospitality of our people and our community, and we will work to build a world-class, tourism-based economy that will create good, sustainable jobs and see tangible efforts toward reconciliation”
Councillor Kevin Seesequasis of the Beardy’s & Okemasis’ Cree Nation
“Because of the investment of WD Canada, SIIT students will have access to state of the art technology and specialized curriculum- providing them with the highest quality health care education- producing a new generation of Indigenous health care professionals, benefiting residents of Saskatchewan province-wide.”
Riel Bellegarde, President and CEO, Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies
- Tourism is Canada’s largest service export and represents more than 2% of our GDP.
- Tourism provides good well-paying jobs to more than one Canadian out of ten, which represents 1.8 million Canadians.
- In the first six months of 2018, Canada welcomed a record of 8.6 million international tourists, an increase of 1.6% over the same period last year.
- The tourism sector represents more than 67,000 jobs in Saskatchewan. This is over 10% of the working population.
- In 2017, there were more than 13.6 million visits to and within Saskatchewan.
- There are over 3,200 organizations offering over 4,200 attractions, events, and tourism-related businesses in the province.
- Indigenous Tourism in Canada represents more than 33,000 workers.
Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and la Francophonie
Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada