Experiences andThoughts on Indige-nous Business & Eco- nomic Development        Date:           May 29, 2000        Prepar...
-i-Table of Contents1         INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................
-1-                                                      2 Indigenous Business in1 Introduction                           ...
-2-•   Success stories such as Chief Harry                many factors and considerations that are    Cook and the Kitsaki...
-3-worked world. All of these are about eco-                 determining issues of project inputs,nomic collaboration. The...
-4-business in ways that are supportive of cul-           Resource companies are often searching fortures and communities....
-5-                                                      base royalty as well as options to partici-                      ...
-6-nomic levels, WBOG asks that abandoned                Petroleum Land Administrators with thewell sites be restored to a...
-7-                                                        bring the gas across Georgia strait by un-Indeed, WBOGs mission...
-8-                                                        Company. Total profits are well over $1THE OUTCOME             ...
-9-    addressed and plans prepared for that            "Boyd Petro Search was willing to help    both from a Human Resour...
- 10 -Manywounds is planning a road trip acrossthe prairies to talk to young people about                Strength in unity...
- 11 -                                                         Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups haveIn 1993, PADC saw ...
- 12 -reaches success. If you say youve reached                          vantage, but that theysuccess you start to coast....
- 13 -•    3% Buffalo Narrows                                 1998 and about 50% of that    Economic      Develop-        ...
- 14 -                                                            joint venture has been established withThe company now h...
- 15 -and wheeled aircraft, provides a wide range               offering canoe rentals, fishing packages andof air charter...
- 16 -                                                          production with a southern Canadian com-The expert ICSL st...
- 17 -standing from the face-to-face encounter.                   3.9 Lac La Ronge Indian Band –As producer Patty Billings...
- 18 -lowing provides a brief description of the              in a safe and efficient manner since 1986.company and some o...
- 19 -The Prince Albert Inn is a 109-room, full                 rivers, by driving airboats through theseservice hotel in ...
- 20 -Dakota Winds Kitsaki Mechanical Ser-                      vices for both surface and undergroundvices Ltd. performs ...
- 21 -                                                           Without profits, none of this would be pos-              ...
Indigenous Economic Development:  Paper presented to IDB Indigenous Development Workshop in Quito, Ecuador by Wayne Dunn
Indigenous Economic Development:  Paper presented to IDB Indigenous Development Workshop in Quito, Ecuador by Wayne Dunn
Indigenous Economic Development:  Paper presented to IDB Indigenous Development Workshop in Quito, Ecuador by Wayne Dunn
Indigenous Economic Development:  Paper presented to IDB Indigenous Development Workshop in Quito, Ecuador by Wayne Dunn
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Indigenous Economic Development: Paper presented to IDB Indigenous Development Workshop in Quito, Ecuador by Wayne Dunn

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Award winning CSR strategy consultant Wayne Dunn authored this paper on Indigenous Economic Development for the Inter-American Development Bank’s Indigenous Development Workshop in Quito, Ecuador. The paper discusses successful case studies of indigenous business development in Canada. www.waynedunn.com

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Indigenous Economic Development: Paper presented to IDB Indigenous Development Workshop in Quito, Ecuador by Wayne Dunn

  1. 1. Experiences andThoughts on Indige-nous Business & Eco- nomic Development Date: May 29, 2000 Prepared For: Inter-American Development Bank Prepared By: Wayne Dunn & Associates Canada Tel: +1-250-743-7619 Fax: +1-250-743-7659 info@waynedunn.com www.waynedunn.com
  2. 2. -i-Table of Contents1 INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................12 INDIGENOUS BUSINESS IN CANADA: ...............................................................1 2.1 CURRENT STATUS .........................................................................................................1 2.2 INDIGENOUS/NON-INDIGENOUS JOINT VENTURES .......................................................2 2.3 INTER-INDIGENOUS PARTNERSHIPS .............................................................................33 INDIGENOUS BUSINESS CASE STUDIES & EXAMPLES...............................5 3.1 WHITE BEAR OIL AND GAS: BRINGING FIRST NATION VALUES TO THE OIL INDUSTRY ..........................................................................................................5 3.2 VANCOUVER ISLAND NATURAL GAS PIPELINE...............................................7 3.3 GREEN SPIRIT ENVIRONMENT: MAKING A CLEAN SWEEP OF SUCCESS....9 3.4 PRINCE ALBERT DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION: FIRST NATIONS WORKING TOGETHER TOWARD ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ....................10 3.5 NORTHERN RESOURCE TRUCKING/KITSAKI DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION .............12 3.6 NOOTKA MERCHANDISING: MAKING WOOD GO FARTHER........................13 3.7 DEH CHO AIR, FORT LIARD, NWT .......................................................................14 3.8 INUIT COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS LIMITED CONNECTING THE NORTH ....................................................................................................................................15 3.9 LAC LA RONGE INDIAN BAND – KITSAKI DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION A CANADIAN INDIGENOUS SUCCESS STORY ..................................................................174 STRATEGIES AND TACTICS ..............................................................................21 4.1 PROFITABILITY AND BUSINESS OBJECTIVES ..............................................................21 4.2 ORGANIZATIONAL CONSIDERATIONS .........................................................................21 4.3 REGULATORY ADVANTAGE........................................................................................22 4.4 JOINT VENTURES ........................................................................................................22 4.5 NATURAL RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT ........................................................................22 4.6 TOURISM .....................................................................................................................24 4.7 ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND MANAGEMENT SERVICES ...............................24 4.8 DEMINING ACTIVITIES ................................................................................................245 SUMMARY...............................................................................................................25
  3. 3. -1- 2 Indigenous Business in1 Introduction Canada:This paper was prepared as a background to 2.1 Current Statusa presentation on Indigenous economic de-velopment and indigenous business partner-ships for an Indigenous economic devel- Today indigenous businesses are active inopment seminar in Ecuador. The primary every sector of the Canadian economy.focus of the paper is to provide case studies However, that certainly wasn’t always theand examples of Indigenous businesses and case, nor is it the case in all regions of Can-to suggest some possible strategies and tac- ada. It is only in the last 15 years that In-tics that could be helpful as Indigenous digenous business has started to thrive inPeoples in Ecuador work to become more Canada. And, in many regions it is still inproductively involved in their local, na- its incipient stages, struggling to find andtional and regional economies. The paper develop opportunities.is intended to stimulate discussion only, itis not designed to be an in depth analysis of Over the period from 1985 to 2000 therethe subject. was over $2 billion1 invested in Aboriginal businesses in Canada, creating the largestFor Millennia Indigenous Peoples were in growth in aboriginal business ever achievedtotal control of the entire economy of the anywhere in the world. A number of fac-Western Hemisphere. Their business and tors combined to create this boom. Sometrade activities encompassed the entire of the more significant were:hemisphere, manufacturing and tradinggoods and services and supporting healthy • Indigenous leadership recognized thecultures and communities. However, with need to become productive participantsthe introduction of Europeans, the advent of in the economythe industrial age, and numerous discrimi- • Canadian government provided finan-natory and destructionist policies, Indige- cial and technical support to Indigenousnous Peoples of the Americas found them- businesses and indigenous business de-selves severely marginalized economically, velopmentpolitically and socially and no longer in • Regulatory requirements mandated in-control of their own economy. digenous involvement and participation (this ranged from requirements to ‘con-Over the past twenty years there has been a sult’ with Indigenous Peoples throughresurgence in Indigenous business. Led by to regimes like the Bayda report whichcountries like Canada, where the govern- allowed Uranium development inment has provided direct financial support northern Saskatchewan, but required aand where the regulatory regime often pro- minimum level of Indigenous involve-vides indigenous peoples with an advantage ment and provided a business prefer-in supplying goods and services to resource ence for Indigenous owned businesses.extraction projects, Indigenous peoples are • Early success models such as Kitsakistarting to develop and operate many busi- Development Corporation’s approachnesses. to joint ventures (profiled later in this report), demonstrated the potential of indigenous business development 1 Note, all figures in this report are in Canadian dol- lars. The USD$ value is approximately 2/3 e.g. CAD$1.00 = USD$.66
  4. 4. -2-• Success stories such as Chief Harry many factors and considerations that are Cook and the Kitsaki Development beyond the scope of this discussion. The Corporation made themselves available commonality between all of them is they to share their experiences with other allow Indigenous and non-Indigenous part- indigenous organizations. ners to work together in mutually beneficial• Non-indigenous businesses recognized ways. the value that could be created by part- nering with indigenous peoples Why do it?• Canada enacted an Aboriginal Pro- Why share the opportunity? Why would curement Policy to encourage Federal either party (Indigenous or non-Indigenous) government departments to purchase want to share the opportunity and the re- goods and services from Indigenous wards? Why not do it alone and keep all owned businesses. the profits and other benefits? The reality• Major resource companies recognized is that it often takes more than one party to the corporate reputation issues that bring all the pieces together to make a deal could result from negative relationships happen and the synergy achieved through with local indigenous peoples. economic collaboration can create a much• Canadian courts ruled in favour of In- bigger pie. digenous resource rights in a number of key cases. Many business and economic opportunities require a range of ingredients to succeed. Some of these include, capital, management2.2 Indigenous/Non-Indigenous expertise, access to labour, financial exper- Joint Ventures tise, access to land and resources, permita- bility2 and regulatory compliance, localMany of the Canadian indigenous business knowledge, local relationships, etc. Oftensuccesses have used a joint venture ap- it is not possible for one partner to have allproach to enable them to bridge financial of these ingredients. Each party has someand managerial capacity gaps and take ad- of what is required and together they havevantage of significant business opportuni- the pieces that can be put together to form aties. profitable venture so they come together to take advantage of opportunities that wouldWhat is it? be challenging for either of them workingIndigenous/non-Indigenous business col- alone.laboration is often referred to generically as‘joint ventures’. For this discussion we This is true for many businesses, not justwill work from a definition that covers all indigenous owned and those working withforms of indigenous/non-indigenous busi- indigenous people. Mining, oil and gas,ness and economic collaboration including: transportation (airline networks), health care, information technology, services, Partnerships manufacturing, etc., virtually all businesses Joint Ventures and industries are looking at the synergy Corporations and value that can be created through col- Sub-contracting laboration and strategic alliances. Take a Procurement look at a business paper almost any day and Employment you see announcements of mergers, acqui- Etc. sitions and joint ventures, or read articles about virtual organizations in today’s net-In Canada each of the above forms havetheir own legal issues and structures. 2 The ability to acquire the necessary permits andWhich form is used will be dependent upon regulatory approval.
  5. 5. -3-worked world. All of these are about eco- determining issues of project inputs,nomic collaboration. The situation with operational control, management, pro-indigenous/non-indigenous collaboration is ject benefits, etc.nothing unique. Joint ventures have enabled many indige-Another reason that some indigenous or- nous businesses to secure the financial andganizations prefer the collaborative or joint managerial capacity needed to acquire lu-venture route to business development is crative new opportunities and generatethat it allows them to take advantage of profitable business operations.more opportunities than they could if theyworked alone. This is because they haveaccess to more opportunities than they have 2.3 Inter-Indigenous Partner-the capacity to manage and develop on their shipsown. If they were to work on everything bythemselves they would quickly have all of In addition to cultural and lifestyle similari-their management capacity deployed and be ties, Indigenous Peoples throughout theunable to evaluate and take advantage of Americas have shared many comparablenew opportunities that come along. By experiences during the five hundred yearsworking with partners they are able to lev- since Columbus first landed. Loss of tradi-erage the managerial and operating experi- tional lands and livelihoods, colonializa-ence of partners and take advantage of tion, economic and social marginalization,more opportunities. and attempts at cultural extinction are some of the common elements of the history ofIn addition to the above reasons, in Canada Indigenous Peoples throughout the hemi-there are often tax advantages that can cre- sphere. Despite these experiences, indige-ate additional value for indigenous / non- nous culture and identity remains strongindigenous collaboration. Indigenous Peo- and Indigenous Peoples are beginning toples and institutions, by nature of their share new, more positive experiences; as-unique tax status, may be able to create in- sisting each other to achieve developmentcremental value through passing on tax sav- objectives.ings to the joint venture. Many of Canada’s Indigenous Peoples haveNecessary conditions begun to focus on business and economicExperience throughout Canada on indige- development, seeking to become more pro-nous/non-indigenous economic collabora- ductive participants in the Canadian econ-tion has shown that long-term success is omy and to gain increased control overmuch more likely if several conditions are their own destinies. Over the past twentymet. years this has produced a virtual explosion in indigenous business development with It is a viable business opportunity thousands of businesses, operating success- It can create meaningful value for each fully in every sector of the Canadian econ- party to the deal omy. At the same time indigenous peoples have been developing the political and in- It can create unique value in the mar- stitutional capacity to assume increasing ketplace control of the institutions and agencies that Collectively the partners have, or can are daily parts of their lives. acquire the necessary pieces to make the deal happen Canadian Indigenous peoples lead the world in Indigenous business development The partners have a genuine willing- and have developed expertise in developing ness to develop win-win solutions to
  6. 6. -4-business in ways that are supportive of cul- Resource companies are often searching fortures and communities. Latin American new and constructive ways of involvingIndigenous peoples often have access to Indigenous peoples in resource develop-business opportunities, but lack the finan- ment projects. However, many Indigenouscial and technical capacity to take full ad- organizations lack the technical and finan-vantage of them. Indigenous peoples in cial capacity to assist their people to capi-Latin America have strong families and talize on these opportunities. Linking re-communities and are not besieged by many source based Canadian Indigenous busi-of the social issues that are plaguing many nesses together with Indigenous peoplesNorth American Indigenous Peoples. Fa- from the Ecuador will result in the devel-cilitating the development of partnerships opment of inter-Indigenous partnershipsand linkages between Indigenous Peoples that will produce meaningful and sustain-throughout the Americas can help to ad- able benefits for all concerned.dress many of the pressing social and eco-nomic issues they are facing.The experiences of Canada’s IndigenousPeoples provide a huge pool of develop-ment expertise that can collaborate withother Indigenous Peoples who have not yethad the same development experiences.Inter-Indigenous Partnerships in whichIndigenous peoples in Canada and theircounterparts in other areas of the worldshare experience, capacity and learning area promising development strategy. Thesepartnerships offer a number of specific ad-vantages for all concerned (Canadian In-digenous Peoples, Indigenous Peoples fromLatin America and elsewhere in the world,Development agencies and institutions, pri-vate sector firms operating in the vicinity orIndigenous peoples, Nation States, etc.).The partnerships can facilitate sharing ofrelevant experiences, help to bridge capac-ity gaps, support institutional developmentand promote meaningful indigenous par-ticipation in resource development andother business projects.The natural resource sector (Mining, Oil &Gas, and related activities such as pipelineconstruction) is a fertile sector for the de-velopment of inter-indigenous partnershipsbetween Canada and Peru. Indigenousbusinesses in Canada have a plethora ofexperience in providing goods and servicesto the resource industry. Indigenous peo-ples in Ecuador live on lands where com-panies from Canada and around the worldare exploring for and developing resources.
  7. 7. -5- base royalty as well as options to partici- pate in the oil production. By taking advan-3 Indigenous Business tage of these options to participate WBOG Case Studies & Exam- has more than tripled their revenue. This ples revenue is either put back into oil produc- tion or used to help the community by, for example, assisting youth groups and elders.The following case studies and examples WBOG also wanted to give something backillustrate the range and diversity of Indige- to past generations that will never benefitnous business development in Canada. The from the oil that was a part of their land, soexamples are not necessarily the best, nor the company decided to put up headstonethe only example in the various industries markers for those who have passed away.and sectors that they represent. They havebeen selected to provide an overview of the "We want to put markers on these graves sovarious businesses that have been devel- that the people who are gone will never beoped by Indigenous Peoples in Canada. forgotten, so that our history will never be lost," says Terry Littlechief, President ofOriginal sources are noted at the end of WBOG.each case study. Chief Brian Standingready believes it is3.1 WHITE BEAR OIL AND GAS: important that the First Nation focuses on helping their people, rather than making BRINGING FIRST NATION profits. "The oil wont be here forever, our VALUES TO THE OIL IN- people are our priority," says Chief Stand- DUSTRY ingready. "We have to respect the land, our heritage sites, the environment. We alwaysOil production has turned into a big busi- consider the future generations and askness for the White Bear First Nation. In- what this is doing for them."deed, 1700 barrels of oil per day are pro-duced on the approximately 12,000 hectare Mr. Littlechief agrees, "We believe that(30,000 acre) reserve located 13 kilometers each action taken has many effects. Whatnorth of Carlyle, Saskatchewan and they we do today will effect future generations.plan to drill 40 new wells within the next Following strict environmental guidelinesyear. But the priorities of White Bear Oil and spending the revenue properly is veryand Gas (WBOG), the First Nations oil important to us, so that 20 years, 50 years,company, are helping their community, 100 years down the road our grandchildrenprotecting the environment and respecting wont question the decisions we made."Aboriginal traditions. WBOG has managed to merge the oil busi-WBOGs success in the oil industry is ness with their cultural beliefs. For manylargely due to a unique agreement they members of the First Nation, their land, andsigned in December 1993 with Tri Link nature in general, is something sacred. ForResources Ltd., a Calgary based oil com- this reason, before any activity takes placepany. The agreement allows Tri Link to on a future well site, an elder goes to thedrill for oil on the reserve and enables area and prays to ask the land for forgive-WBOG to take part in the oil production by ness and to thank the land for its bounty. Assharing in the costs and profits and benefit- well, sacred heritage sites are declared no-ing from the employment opportunities and drill zones. Because preserving the naturaleconomic spin offs. beauty of White Bear Lake and the sur- rounding country is important to the FirstThe agreement provides WBOG with a Nation on spiritual, environmental and eco-
  8. 8. -6-nomic levels, WBOG asks that abandoned Petroleum Land Administrators with thewell sites be restored to an environmental White Bear Pilot Project. These individualsstandard higher than oil industry standards. all attended the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology for training sponsored by theTri Link is sensitive toward White Bears White Bear First Nation and received cer-environmental and cultural concerns. Mr. tificates as Petroleum Land Administrators.Littlechief says that Tri Link has worked inpartnership with White Bear to address Many White Bear First Nation membersthese concerns and form a relationship built have gained training and work experienceon trust. in the oil industry thanks to WBOG. So far approximately 38 members have beenIn a letter to the White Bear First Nation trained and employed by drilling rigs thatGary Burns, President and CEO of Tri are working for Tri Link and four haveLink, describes their relationship, "There been trained and are working as contractare many aspects to the agreement, how- battery operators. Recently four White Bearever, the foundation was one of trust - trust members were trained and certified asbetween an oil company and a First Nations heavy equipment operators in a programpeople...the White Bear Project is similar to jointly sponsored between Tri Link and thea foreign operation...we try to honour the First Nation-run Kakakaway Learning Cen-traditional laws and cultural heritage as tre. In the past, the Kakakaway Learningguests in another land." Centre and Tri Link have teamed up to of- fer training to 30 individuals in the areas ofThrough continual communication and re- chainsaw certification, chainsaw instructorsspect, Tri Link and White Bear have come certification and entry level training such asto understand each others aims. One of first aid, CPR and H2S Alive.White Bears goals in allowing the devel-opment of its oil and gas reserves is to cre- As well, the agreement provides Whiteate employment and training opportunities Bear companies and private contractorsfor First Nation members. with the opportunity to bid for services re- quired by Tri Link such as surface leaseIn his letter, Mr. Burns points to this goal, construction, pipeline construction, seismic"Part of this agreement between Tri Link line clearing, well site reclamation, truck-and the White Bear people outlines a moral ing, well site maintenance and drilling andcommitment by Tri Link to help create service contracting. As a result, seven newlonger term employment, to encourage edu- businesses have developed on the Whitecation and to be proactive on certain social Bear First Nation creating new employmentissues." opportunities and on-the-job work experi- ence for many First Nation members. TheseSince White Bear began working with Tri activities have provided over 90 First Na-Link, a number of First Nation members tion people with short or long-term em-have been trained and employed in the oil ployment.industry. Tri Link hired two universitygraduates from White Bear to work in their White Bear Oil and Gas is very pleasedCalgary office as a petroleum land admini- with the economic development that hasstration assistant and a geological technical resulted and hopes that this is only the be-assistant. A summer student was hired to ginning. Mr. Littlechief envisions a brightwork out of their Kipling office to gain en- future for WBOG, a future that includesvironmental and production experience. investing in the oil industry off reserve. But, he says that as WBOG grows, it willTwo White Bear members work out of continue to base its business on the FirstWBOGs office and two members work as Nations values.
  9. 9. -7- bring the gas across Georgia strait by un-Indeed, WBOGs mission statement states derwater pipeline. They also were posi-that the companys goal is "to contribute to tioned to start laying the mainline fromthe present and future prosperity of White landfall at Nanaimo south to Victoria andBear First Nation by ensuring the quality of North to Campbell River.life for the people, environment and futuregenerations through the guardianship and Like many Government and private agen-administration of our oil and gas resources, cies of the time, the need to consult effec-revenues and future developments." tively with Aboriginal people either did not occur to them or it was subordinated to pro-"There are benefits to having oil revenue, ject deadline demands. In any event no con-but there is also a down side," says Mr. Lit- sultations took place in spite of the fact thattlechief. "We deal with weighing this bal- the new mainline would have to cross sev-ance everyday; whether the damage done to eral Indigenous Reserves.our land will be worth it in the end. For thisreason we feel very strongly that the reve-nue has to be spent properly so that it can CHIEF DENNIS ALPHONSE OF THEbenefit us and our grandchildren down the COWICHAN TRIBES INTERCEDED.road." The Cowichan Tribes, with a population of 3,000 is British Columbia’s largest FirstSource: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada Nation. Historically they dominated the landscape of the island and had a reputation3.2 VANCOUVER ISLAND for not standing idly by when strangers en- tered their territory. NATURAL GAS PIPELINE Cowichan is located approximately halfINTRODUCTION way between Victoria (35 miles) at theVancouver Island (The Island) is on the south end of the island and Nanaimo (35very west coast of Canada. It has a popula- miles) to the north. The pipeline was pro-tion of 700,000, is 70 miles wide and 300 posed to cross their reserve lands; in factmiles long – (all numbers are estimates) not to do so would have meant re-routingThe majority of the development and popu- and adding significant cost.lation of the island are located in the rainshadow on the eastern side of the island. When Chief Dennis Alphonse became aware of both the breach of protocol – noUntil 1991, the island was dependent on one consulted with or asked permission toelectrical power for the majority of its heat cross their land – and the Economic Devel-& energy needs. This power was generated opment potential of the project for hison the mainland and brought to the island membership he paid a visit to the head of-by undersea cable across the Georgia Strait. fice of Centra Gas in Victoria.To position the island to attract increasing His presentation was straightforward.amounts of industry while at the same time Come up with a plan for meaningful in-reducing its dependence on electrical power volvement of the Cowichan people in thisthe decision was made in the late 1980’s to project or the pipeline would not crossbring natural gas to the island. A new di- their land. It is reported from Centra Gasvision of Westcoast Energy, a Canadian officials that the meeting and requestnatural gas company, was established to caught them by surprise. They had simplyfacilitate and deliver this service to the cus- not thought of the First Nations or the im-tomers of the island. This entity, Centra plications of not following protocol or in-Gas, mobilized the necessary resources to volving them.
  10. 10. -8- Company. Total profits are well over $1THE OUTCOME million and The Company, Khowutzun Mustimuhw Contractors has become a suc-Neither the Cowichan Tribes nor Centra cess story and model that Westcoast EnergyGas had any pre-conceived plan on how to and Centra Gas have tried to replicate inproceed. Cowichan had neither the capital, other areas.nor the relevant business experience to un-dertake a large service installation contractto bring natural gas to individual users. It is LESSONS LEARNED:reported that a search of suitable candidateswas undertaken and, for reasons known 1. Select Your Joint Venture Partnersonly to those involved, a company from Carefully and/Or Ensure That TheyArizona was chosen as a Joint Venture Are Sensitized To Aboriginal Issuespartner for Cowichan. This company had Before You Start. It opens the way tosignificant industry experience but little poor communication when the twoAboriginal experience. The subsequent partners really don’t understand whatJoint Venture Agreement that was negoti- makes the other tick. In the early stagesated was flawed in favour of the Arizona of negotiations each partner’s goals,Company. No clear-cut plans were in place objectives and ‘hot buttons’ must befor involving Cowichans at all levels of the identified and discussed. This forms thenew company. basis for negotiating the agreement.During the course of the 5-year agreement 2. Make Sure You Involve Experts Inhowever, up to 65 Cowichan people were Assisting With Preparing The Jointemployed at any one time with work lasting Venture Agreement. The joint ven-up to 10 months per year. There was a lot ture should be structured by profession-of complaining from both parties. The als with roles and responsibilitiesCowichan people complained of two sets of clearly spelled out and committed to inrules on the job, one for the non-natives and appropriate agreements.one for them. They complained about theway they were treated by their non-nativesuperiors. The JV partner on the other hand 3. Provide cross-cultural training andcomplained about a lack of productivity, support. All employees should take atreliability and general cooperation of the least a two-day course so that each un-Cowichan. They said that they had sur- derstands how to work effectively withpassed their commitment to employ at least the other. Regular in-service seminars50% Cowichans (they averaged 80%). should also be conducted to re-enforce important concepts, update the group on issues and to discuss any areas ofWhen the 5-year agreement ended in 1996, contention.Cowichan formed their own company andoperated the business on their own. Bythis time they had accumulated a sizeable 4. Establish A Clear Cut Succession Orlabour force of experienced personnel, Exit Strategy. Most Aboriginal peoplesome capital and an experienced General aspire to have full control over theirManager. The project and new company, own destiny and eventually own 100%which are both still operating, has created a of the business. Aspirations must belot of meaningful employment and wealth tempered with the reality that operatingfor the Cowichan Community both by way a complex business requires buildingof wages and net income earned by the capacity. This should be specifically
  11. 11. -9- addressed and plans prepared for that "Boyd Petro Search was willing to help both from a Human Resource and fi- develop an Aboriginal corporation so that nancial capital perspective. Aboriginals could be more than just em- ployees, they could be the employers."Source: RJ Isbister & Associates "I didnt want to look back at my life in 20 years and wonder ‘what if?’ But this busi-3.3 GREEN SPIRIT ENVIRON- ness isnt just important to me, its impor- MENT: MAKING A CLEAN tant to other Aboriginal people too," adds SWEEP OF SUCCESS Dean Manywounds, who managed the on- reserve gravel operation for eight years. "I think this industry is, inherently, in theDean and Peter Manywounds are cleaning blood of Aboriginal people. We have, his-up - in more ways than one. torically and culturally, been the protectors of the earth for thousands of years."They co-own and operate an environmentalcompany called Green Spirit Environment Boyd Petro Search, an oil and gas consult-Inc., which has an office on the Tsuu Tina ing company, fit the bill perfectly.Nation near Calgary. Their company pro- "The Aboriginal market was virtually un-vides services including waste manage- tapped," says Bob Raina, Manager of Envi-ment, environmental assessments, envi- ronmental Services for Boyd Petro Search.ronmental management, mediation and "Green Spirit approached us and they hadconsultation. the same philosophies as we did so weGreen Spirits main goal is to better the knew we would make an excellent team."earths environment, without becoming po- Mr. Raina says it was the best of bothlitical, says Dean Manywounds. worlds for all parties involved. "Culturally,"Green Spirit is not a hired gun for First Green Spirit had a knowledge that BoydNations, or for energy companies, or for Petro Search could never have. There is soany other organization," says Mr. Many- much more cultural significance and at-wounds. "Green Spirit is a hired gun for tachment to the land in the Aboriginal mar-Mother Earth. We are trying to ensure her ketplace," says Mr. Raina, who is one ofprotection for years to come." Green Spirits Directors. "Thats why Green Spirit is so unique because they approachThe brothers had to look long and hard be- the Aboriginal environmental industry fromfore they found a partner who shared their an Aboriginal perspective."vision. After a two-year search, they en-tered into a joint-venture in 1995 with In spite of Mr. Rainas praise for the com-Northern Enviro Search, a wholly owned pany, Dean Manywounds admits he wassubsidiary of the Calgary-based company, initially apprehensive.Boyd Petro Search. "We sank all our money into the business"In our search, we found that a lot of envi- and that was a big gamble," says Dean Ma-ronmental companies were more interested nywounds. "But six months after opening,in breaking into the Aboriginal marketplace we were operating self-sufficiently, wethan helping an Aboriginal become suc- were right on target. We were paying ourcessful in the industry," says Dean Many- employees and updating our equipment allwounds. He and his brother financed 51 through our profits."percent ownership of Greenspirit entirely Dean Manywounds is also trying to focusfrom their own pockets. his energy on educating young people about the expanding environmental industry. Mr.
  12. 12. - 10 -Manywounds is planning a road trip acrossthe prairies to talk to young people about Strength in unity is the philosophy ofhow to get involved in the environmental PADC. In striving for economic self-field. sufficiency, PADC gives priority to First Nations people, but the corporation com-"I want young Aboriginal people to know bines this with good business sense andthat there is a corporation that is more than always attempts to secure the best-qualifiedwilling to help them out if theyre inter- people. Mr. Daniels believes PADC hasested," says Mr. Manywounds. helped to change the way people think about First Nations in the business sector.Source: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada "Weve shown that First Nations have man- agement capabilities when it comes to busi- ness. It used to be that every time a First3.4 PRINCE ALBERT DEVEL- Nation business went under it was big OPMENT CORPORATION: news. Weve been holding our own and do- FIRST NATIONS WORKING ing it nicely and proving some myths TOGETHER TOWARD ECO- wrong." NOMIC DEVELOPMENT PADCs first business venture was in theEleven years ago the Prince Albert Grand area of real estate. During the 1980s, theCouncil (PAGC) was sitting on the side- PAGC took over the administration oflines when it came to economic develop- many programs and services formerly ad-ment. First Nation members were pouring ministered by Indian and Northern Affairsmoney into Prince Alberts economy, but Canada (INAC). As a result, the Grandthe PAGC had no venues through which it Council was hiring new staff while INACcould participate in the citys economic de- was reducing staffing requirements. Thevelopment. Today the PAGC is playing an First Nations saw an opportunity in devel-active role in Prince Alberts economy oping a new office complex to house itsthrough the Prince Albert Development own staff, as well as those of INAC andCorporation (PADC). Medical Services Branch (MSB) of Health Canada. The First Nations pooled theirThe PADC, with its head office located 10 economic resources in order to provide thekilometers north of Prince Albert on the equity the newly formed DevelopmentWahpeton First Nation, was established in Corporation needed to finance construction1985 and is equally owned by the 12 First of the John E. Mac Donald building. TheNations that comprise the PAGC. Since its PADC also signed long-term leases withestablishment, the PADC has ventured into the Grand Council, INAC and MSB. Sincereal estate, security and janitorial services, constructing this first office building inthe hotel and service industries, construc- 1986, PADC has purchased one more officetion and employment referral services. complex in the city of Prince Albert and two properties in the surrounding area.Wesley Daniels sat on PADCs board ofdirectors as Chief of Sturgeon Lake First PADC also started a security and janitorialNation, was general manager for over a services company in 1986. Over the past 10year and now sits on the management board years, this company has continued to grow.which deals with the day-to-day business Today they have contracts with Cogemaoperations. Mr. Daniels believes PADC has Resources Inc., Cameco Corporation andgrown as a result of a good business phi- Millar Western Pulp to provide security andlosophy. janitorial services to mine sites, pulp mills and office buildings.
  13. 13. - 11 - Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal groups haveIn 1993, PADC saw that there was a great many advantages. While PADC benefitsdeal of potential for the corporation in from PCLs expertise and size, PCL bene-Prince Alberts hotel and service industry. fits from PADCs influence in the market asFirst Nations organizations often met in an Aboriginally owned corporation as wellPrince Albert and required hotel and meet- as PADCs access to the northern labouring accommodations. Rather than letting market.someone else gain the economic and em-ployment benefits of First Nation business, PADC has capitalized further on thePADC decided to purchase the Prince Al- McClean Lake mine construction by sign-bert Inn. The PADC has upgraded the inn ing a two-year contract with Cogema toby adding over $750,000 worth of im- provide an employment referral service forprovements. The inn includes 108 rooms, a construction through a PADC agencypool, conference and banquet facilities, known as Northern Employment Servicesnightclub, lounge, cold beer and wine store (NES). This agency has compiled an up-to-and restaurant. date database of over 400 northerners avail- able to work on the project. Instead of hav-In its first year of operation under PADC ing to bring in workers from other parts ofownership, the inns total sales increased by Saskatchewan or other provinces or having14 percent. Trevor Ives, the General Man- to search the north for a qualified work-ager and Director of Finance of PADC, force, the contractor is supplied with a listsays that First Nation ownership has a great of available workers by NES. PADC willdeal to do with the hotels success. be paid a fee based on the number of hours worked by employees hired through NES."As a general rule the owners of a business In the space of one year over 160 employ-will support that business. Having a base of ees have been hired through NES generat-approximately 23,000 owners helps in de- ing in excess of 170,000 man-hours of workveloping a large market," says Mr. Ives. for residents of Northern Saskatchewan."This market, combined with sound man-agement, committed staff and the support Mr. Daniels says that creating job opportu-of a strong Board of Directors has been key nities for Aboriginal people is one of theto our accomplishments in business." corporations goals. For him creating em- ployment goes hand in hand with businessRecently PADC has used its service indus- success.try experience gained at the Prince AlbertInn to operate the Northstar restaurant and "Success is going into a business and mak-lounge at the Northern Lights Casino and ing it pay, you make it pay and you createits real estate knowledge to act as the de- employment and you make it pay more andveloper for the casino building. you create more employment," says Mr. Daniels. "The Prince Albert Inn is a goodIn 1994, PADC entered into a joint venture example. We increased occupancy and byagreement with PCL Construction Man- doing so increased employment. As you getagement Inc. to bid on up-coming construc- bigger you create more jobs."tion projects. In 1995, PADC/PCL-Maxam,A Joint Venture, successfully bid on the With a sales estimate in excess of $10 mil-construction of the new multi-million dollar lion per year and over 200 employees, theuranium mill near McClean Lake, 45 kilo- majority of whom are Aboriginal, it wouldmeters west of the community of Wollaston seem that PADC has reached success.Lake. But, Mr. Daniels says, "PADC hasntMr. Ives says that joint ventures between reached success. I dont think anyone ever
  14. 14. - 12 -reaches success. If you say youve reached vantage, but that theysuccess you start to coast. Success is an would need a partner whoongoing venture." would had the ability to execute the contract. TheyIf PADC hasnt achieved success, theyve researched several prospec-certainly made a great deal of progress. tive partners and ap-Prince Alberts business community has proached Trimac Transpor-recognized this and made PADC a finalist tation, one of the largestin the citys Samuel McLeod Business trucking firms in NorthAwards in four categories including busi- America. They offered toness of the year, job creation, new business joint venture with in theand investment. Not bad for a corporation establishment of a truckingthat only 11 years ago was watching Prince service to supply northernAlberts economic development from the Sk. Initially Trimac balkedsidelines. at Kitsaki’s insistence that Trimac commit to a non-Source: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada compete agreement which would prohibit them from doing any business in3.5 Northern Resource Truck- northern Sask. unless it was done through the joint ven- ing/Kitsaki Development ture. After Kitsaki outlined Corporation the specific advantages the joint venture provided onFounding Lac La Ronge First Na- all northern Sask. businessPartners tion/Kitsaki Development Trimac agreed to do the Corporation deal. Trimac Transporta- tion/Northern Resource Current Currently NRT has annual Trucking Status revenues of $23 million. It was recently restructured to broaden the northern Sas-Industry Transportation – Trucking katchewan indigenous ownership, bringing totalLocation Head office is based in northern indigenous owner- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan ship to 79% Canada. They provide trucking services to the Northern ownership is mining industry throughout structured as follows: northern Sk. • 30% Kitsaki Devel-Background The initial partnership was opment Corporation, developed in 1986 to bid now called Kitsaki on a transportation contract Management Limited to the Key Lake minesite in Partnership. Northern Saskatchewan. • 20% Denesuline De- The mine license provided velopment Corpora- a preference for northern tion owned by the First and aboriginal suppliers. Nations of Hatchet Kitsaki realized that this Lake, Black Lake and provided them with an ad- Fond Du Lac
  15. 15. - 13 -• 3% Buffalo Narrows 1998 and about 50% of that Economic Develop- went to northern operators. ment Corporation – owned by the northern NRT is the dominant sur- Village of Buffalo Nar- face transportation com- rows. pany in northern Sas-• 3% Clearwater River katchewan and expects to Development Corpo- continue growing with the ration – owned by the economy of the region. Clearwater Dene Na- tion. Source: Wayne Dunn & Associates Ltd.• 3% Cumberland House Development 3.6 NOOTKA MERCHANDISING: Corporation – owned MAKING WOOD GO FAR- by the Cumberland THER House First Nation and the Northern Village of Cumberland House. If you havent been to Tahsis lately, you• 3% Des Nedhe Devel- might not recognize it. A new shake mill, opment Corporation Nootka Merchandising, which produces – owned by the English top-quality wood products out of waste River First Nation. wood, is now gracing the handsome har-• 3% Montreal Lake bour of this small town on northern Van- Development Corpo- couver Island. In June of this year, Nootka ration – owned by the Merchandising opened shop, complete with Montreal Lake First a champagne christening of the mill build- Nation. ings, and mill tours for the public.• 3% Nikowtawsik De- velopment Corpora- The company is owned equally by all seven tion – owned by the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation chiefs Peter Ballantyne Cree and councilors. Right now, the quarterly Nation. revenue for the company is $12,000. In the• 3% Sakitawak Devel- future it will receive 10 percent of the mar- opment Corporation - ket value of the finished product. By the owned by the Northern time the mill is running at full capacity, the Village of Ile al la owners expect to earn nearly $80,000 annu- Crosse. ally for assisting administration and secur- ing fibre contracts, says Larry Andrews,Currently, about 50% of board director and hereditary chief of theNRT owner operators are Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation.residents of Saskatche-wan’s north They have The company has just added two new sawsabout 40 owner operators to the plant, and is expanding to includeand 10 company power sawing lumbers to its list of duties. Nootkaunits. The overall opera- Merchandising also makes shake or shingletion employs about 120 blocks and paneling. The latter are 4x8people and about 50% are sheets of plywood covered with a layer ofresidents of Saskatche- clear wood. The finished product, which iswan’s North. In fiscal used for siding and wall finishing, is worth1998 owner operators got a lot more money than the original scrapabout $10,000,000 in fiscal wood its built from.
  16. 16. - 14 - joint venture has been established withThe company now has a contract to receive Nootka Forestry under the name of Ahami-40,000 cubic metres of low-grade cedar, naquus Reman, Ltd., which will employwhich it will transform into various prod- young First Nations people trained for theucts. That much wood is enough to keep the job. A contract has been signed betweenplant going for about seven-and-a-half A&A Trading and the Mowa-months. The company is looking for con- chaht/Muchalaht First Nation to make itstracts for an additional 10-15,000 cubic me- 20,000 cubic metres of timber quota avail-tres of wood, which would enable the plant able for trade to supply the raw materialto stay open for a season of at least ten required for this operation.months. John Mohammed of A&A says the finishedNootka Merchandising has a few people to product will be sold in established marketsthank for its success. Andrew Petter, then- in China, Korea and Japan. He says theDeputy Minister of Forests, made the Japanese are especially fond of the woodrounds of reserves in B.C., announcing the paneling for the interior of their traditionalprovincial governments desire to see diver- Japanese homes. Standard-quality lumbersification in forestry, and suggesting work- produced by this operation will be lami-ing with low grades as an alternative. nated back into durable solid posts and used for dimensional purposes in homes. When aAlmost three years ago the Clarke Group home uses these engineered-wood prod-installed the infrastructure for the mill, to ucts its value increases, since it will un-the tune of nearly a half-million dollars, doubtedly be standing longer than one builtafter being wooed by the promise of a of ordinary solid posts, which tend to twist20,000-cubic-metre contract for timber. The and bow.Band members, in return, invested theirknowledge of the industry, found the loca- Source: Indian and Northern Affairs Canadation for the mill and secured the fibre con-tracts. 3.7 DEH CHO AIR, FORT LIARD,"The idea was to get Native employees," NWTsays Larry Andrews. Although Mowa-chaht/Muchalaht people have first right-of-refusal for jobs at the shake mill, the staff is Whether its transporting equipment for oilmostly non-Native. The new Mowa- and gas exploration or flying in canoeists tochaht/Muchalaht reserve community, Tsax- Virginia Falls, Deh Cho Air is one busyana, near Gold River, is so comfortable no company. And thats good news for theone wants to move to Tahsis. This problem community of Fort Liard, Northwest Terri-is being broached by a new added-value tories (NWT).mill in Gold River, to start construction asearly as this fall; equipment has already Deh Cho Air, Fort Liards air charter com-been ordered for the operation. Once com- pany, has come a long way since it got offpleted, the mill will consist of a chop line, the ground in 1985. At that time, its fleetkiln dryer, ripping saw and molder. Knots consisted of one three-seater aircraft. It nowwill be chopped out of low-grade wood and boasts a fleet of five aircraft, five employ-the remaining wood finger-jointed back ees and a reputation for aviation excellence.together to yield a clean, usable qualityproduct. "Our business has expanded way beyond our backyard," says Rob Borelli, Deh ChoA&A Trading, Ltd., of Vancouver has in- Airs manager. The companys fleet, whichvested the capital cost into this project. A includes single and multi-engine skis, floats
  17. 17. - 15 -and wheeled aircraft, provides a wide range offering canoe rentals, fishing packages andof air charter services to the southwestern day trips.NWT. "Most of the people we take on our trips areDeh Cho Air has expanded to meet a grow- experienced travelers," says Borelli. "Anding demand for air charter flights. Much of many return every few years to fly with us."this demand has come from a surge in oiland gas activity. In 1994, six companies -- With the construction of roads to the com-Ranger Oil Ltd., Amoco Canada Petroleum munities of Trout Lake and Nahanni ButteCompany Ltd., Chevron Canada Resources presently underway, Borelli is hoping evenLtd, Ocelot Energy Inc., Shell Canada Ltd., more tourists will visit the region.and Paramount Resources Ltd. -- commit-ted $22.7 million for exploration rights in Ultimately, Borelli and the Fort Liard Val-the Fort Liard area. ley band would like to see the company run and staffed by local community members.The Fort Liard Valley band, owner of Deh With business thriving, Borelli and theCho Air, is poised to capture a significant band have a solid foundation to build on.portion of the companies expenditures overthe next four to five years. Many of the Source: Indian and Northern Affairs Canadabands businesses, which include construc-tion companies, trucking services and anew motel, are benefiting from the explora- 3.8 INUIT COMMUNICATIONStion activity. SYSTEMS LIMITED CON-Aircraft have become indispensable to NECTING THE NORTHmodern oil and gas exploration. The re- Inuit Communications Systems Limitedmoteness of the exploration sites means that (ICSL) is a Northern company dedicated topersonnel and equipment must be flown in, finding Northern solutions. Since 1982 theyusually by helicopter. Aircraft also enable have been adapting the latest in communi-what is called "low impact seismic activ- cation technologies to the special require-ity." Rather than using heavy equipment to ments of Northerners.cut seismic lines and roads over a largearea, seismic crews can now fly in and cut Fully Aboriginal owned, ICSL is the for-much narrower lines by hand. profit arm of the Inuit Broadcasting Corpo- ration (IBC) which produces five hours ofAlthough oil and gas activity has provided Inuit programming a week for TVNC;a welcome boom to the region, its far from Television Northern Canada network whichbeing the only source of business for Deh spans the entire North from Yukon to Lab-Cho Air. "We dont have all of our eggs in rador. Through the video production facilityone basket," says Borelli. The company and service centre located in Iqaluit, NWT,also provides services for construction, ICSL provides technical coordination andmining, forestry and firefighting. And it consultation service designed to meet thebills itself as the "Nahanni National Park communication needs of clients across theTour Specialist." North. They also supply comprehensive equipment sales and services on a wideThe completion of the Liard Highway in range of professional broadcast and video1982 opened up the world famous Nahanni conferencing equipment. In addition towilderness region to tourists. Deh Cho Air helping clients develop communicationssupplies the majority of the private air char- solutions, ICSL and their marketing officeters into Nahanni National Park, as well as in Ottawa can implement and oversee a project through any and all stages.
  18. 18. - 16 - production with a southern Canadian com-The expert ICSL staff in Iqaluit working in pany for an international market. Having aassociation with IBC handle video produc- well developed broadcast production teamtion projects ranging from providing au- gives the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation anthentic footage in a Northern setting to pro- important opportunity to present an authen-ducing full-length documentary films. ICSL tic representation of Inuit culture and theproduces local and regional contracts for Northern environment.groups such as Arctic College, the BaffinRegional Health Board as well as numerous The most important area of recent expan-aboriginal organizations and government sion for Inuit Communications Systemsdepartments. The company also provides Limited has been in developing video con-full broadcast quality production at all ferencing. It is an area of communicationsstages for a growing international clientele technology which presents an exciting fron-which includes Japan, Europe, and the tier for meeting the communication chal-United States. As their reputation spreads, lenges of Northerners. ICSL maintainsan increasing number of international com- permanent public access video conferenc-panies have been knocking on ICSLs door. ing centres in Ottawa, Iqaluit, and Rankin Inlet, with plans to expand to CambridgeThe greatest advantage of working with Bay by the end of the year. The serviceInuit Communications Systems Limited is which is currently utilized mainly by gov-the benefit of Northern knowledge and ex- ernment and business, represents a newpertise. BBC and other international broad- way of doing business in the sparsely popu-casters, unable to cope with the harsh Arc- lated North.tic conditions have discovered that it ismore cost effective to use the crew supplied The video conferencing technology set upby ICSL. The Inuit staff possesses all the in the northern centres will be supported bytools to film on the land for extended peri- an eighteen-week intensive training pro-ods. Local know how in dealing with ex- gram. Starting in January six unemployedtreme weather has proved invaluable to get- Inuit will receive specialized training whichting jobs done on time. Once companies will cover the technical aspects of videowork with ICSL and see the professional conferencing as well as marketing the ser-quality of productions they know that no- vice, and management skills required tobody does it better in the North. The com- coordinate conferences. The hands-on train-pany goes the extra mile to build construc- ing will be conducted using the technologytive working relationships with their clients. itself, with trainees participating from their"We are always trying to align ourselves own communities.with people who have strong internationalcontacts" says ICSL producer Patty Bill- Video conferencing holds a great potentialings. to connect Northerners to each other or with people anywhere in the world. Re-When pursuing co-production opportunities cently, as part of the Museum of NatureICSL tries to guarantee the participation of exhibit at the World Conservation Con-Northerners in productions which tell sto- gress, ICSL coordinated a video conferenceries about the Northern people and way of pilot program linking a class of students inlife. In August, ICSL was given permission Iqaluit with a class in Montreal. The twoto send a team to Repulse Bay to film the groups of students shared presentations viafirst legally harvested bowhead whale hunt live video feed and were given the opportu-in over twenty years. The IBC crew cap- nity to discuss environmental issues, tradi-tured the return of a significant traditional tional and modern lifestyles, and the man-cultural activity through Inuit eyes. The agement of resources in the modern world.astonishing footage will be part of a co- Both groups gained a great deal of under-
  19. 19. - 17 -standing from the face-to-face encounter. 3.9 Lac La Ronge Indian Band –As producer Patty Billings explains projects Kitsaki Development Corpo-like this are just starting to tap the potential ration A Canadian Indige-of interactive two-way communication. "It nous Success Storywas very successful. This is a way to usethe video conferencing technology to linkthe world to Northerners". One of the most successful examples of Indigenous business development is the LacNot only is ICSL making steps towards La Ronge First Nation from Saskatchewanconnecting the North to the world, it is also in Central Canada. In the mid 1980s thetaking a giant leap toward connecting First Nation formed Kitsaki Developmentcommunities throughout the circumpolar Corporation (KDC), which has sinceworld. A community consultation model is changed its name to Kitsaki Managementbeing developed to link communities via Limited Partnership, to serve as a vehiclevideo and tele-conference. The advantages for the First Nation’s business and eco-of the interactive component of the tech- nomic development activities.nology, which can encompass a largersymposium beyond the delegates sent to KDC hired professional management andconferences, are within reach. Additional developed an objective of becoming a ma-delegates can be linked in via video confer- jor economic force in northern Saskatche-encing studios, and others groups can be wan and a major participant in all sectors oflinked through teleconference at hamlet the northern Saskatchewan economy. Thisoffices. In addition, through broadcast on was quite a challenge at the time as KDCTVNC, the symposium can link communi- had literally no business experience andties throughout the North to the proceed- little capital. However it had several keyings, and provide the opportunity for input advantages:via a 1-800 number. The potential for com-pletely interactive, live, simulcasts shows • A Chief and Council who were com-great promise to expand direct community- mitted to the success of the businessbased decision making and information and who allowed the business to oper-sharing among Inuit. ate at arm’s length, eliminating political interferenceAs Inuit Communications Systems Limited • A requirement that Indigenous peopleexpands the greatest challenge is keeping benefit from resource development.on top of technology. Finding innovative (This requirement was articulated in theapplications which serve the practical needs Bayda Report, which set out the condi-of Northerners and the cultural needs of tions for the development of the north-Inuit, often go hand in hand. "In the North ern Saskatchewan Uranium industry,we are able to be on the leading edge of it" stipulating that indigenous peoplesexplains Patty Billings. "Just because of the should be beneficiaries)distance, we need all the modern equipment • A visionary and entrepreneurial man-just to communicate. Inuit are very accept- ager.ing of this." Through a willingness to findsolutions ICSL is closing the distances be- Today, fifteen years later, they are one oftween communities in the North and pro- the most successful examples of indigenousviding vital links connecting the Inuit business development anywhere. They areworld. a major economic force in northern Sas- katchewan and are 100% owners or major shareholders in over 10 businesses with aSource: Indian and Northern Affairs Canada combined value of over $50 million and employing hundreds of people. The fol-
  20. 20. - 18 -lowing provides a brief description of the in a safe and efficient manner since 1986.company and some of the main businesses Kitsaki and Trimac Transportation Servicesthey are involved in. Ltd. started this business (see case study in main paper), and subsequently expandedKitsaki Management Limited Partner- the ownership base to include a number ofship owns Kitsaki Development Corpora- Métis, Dene and Cree Nations acrosstion and performs the for profit economic Northern Saskatchewan.development activities of the Lac La RongeIndian Band. The chief and council serve as The highly trained leased operators haul athe board of directors and together they variety of sensitive commodities, over chal-work to serve the 7,000 band members who lenging roads, and through intense weatherlive in the six communities that make up conditions. In addition to quality service,the band. Those communities are Grand- NRT is mandated to select, train and de-mothers Bay, Hall Lake, Little Red, Ne- velop northern and aboriginal people in themeiben River and Stanley Mission. Chief industry. With offices in Saskatoon and Laand council know that profitable economic Ronge, NRT runs the biggest equipmentdevelopment will ultimately lead to job allowed in Saskatchewan. NRT is a primecreation and training opportunities. Kitsaki example of what can be achieved throughexamines many potential business opportu- cooperation between the mining industry,nities and selects only a few that meet ap- and aboriginal business.propriate profitability, risk and employmentcriteria. The La Ronge Motor Hotel LimitedIt takes many years to have an economic Partnership, is the only full service hotelimpact on thousands of band members but in La Ronge. It is newly renovated and of-to date Kitsaki’s investments have proven fers convention and banquet facilities, insuccessful. Kitsaki seeks to create and addition to 60 air-conditioned rooms withmanage a portfolio of active business in- cable television, a new beer store, coffeevestments rather than the individual com- shop, dining room and lounge. The businesspanies. They try to obtain a majority inter- is 100% owned by Kitsaki and is located onest in a business with a highly motivated beautiful Lac La Ronge Lake, across fromentrepreneur or a strong corporate partner the public beach and tennis courts. The staffand then work with that partner to maxi- prides themselves on their first class cus-mize profits, employment and training op- tomer service. The La Ronge Motor Hotelportunities. has proven to be a fine training ground for La Ronge Band members and other abo-Kitsaki has already won a number of riginal people entering the hospitality in-awards for its success in the field of abo- dustry.riginal economic development but the workis far from done. Unemployment remains Kitsaki originally purchased the hotel in ahigh in Northern Saskatchewan and there is joint venture with existing management.a growing population of young people. The However, after several years of operationalBand wants to provide employment oppor- challenges, it bought out the partner andtunities for these people so they can help now owns 100% of the business.strengthen the Saskatchewan economy. The Lac La Ronge Indian Band, as a mem-Northern Resource Trucking Limited ber of the Prince Albert Grand Council, isPartnership serves Saskatchewan’s mining also an owner of three hotels in Prince Al-industry, hauling, primarily to Uranium bert. The Prince Albert Inn, the Marquismines owned by Cameco Corporation, and Inn and the Marlborough Hotel.Cogema Resources Inc. NRT has operated
  21. 21. - 19 -The Prince Albert Inn is a 109-room, full rivers, by driving airboats through theseservice hotel in Prince Albert, Saskatche- rice patches. This raw product is then proc-wan, located Adjacent to the Northern essed in La Ronge at a state of the art proc-Lights Casino. The newly renovated hotel essing plant. The finest wild rice in thefeatures a family restaurant, pub, beer and world is then marketed primarily to thewine store, plus a new swimming United States, Europe and elsewhere inpool/whirlpool complex. The Prince Albert Canada. The wild rice industry is supportedInn provides convention facilities for up to by Kitsaki, to provide an important sea-250 people along with executive suites that sonal economy for a number of band mem-include fax machines and e-mail access. bers in one of the few industries that re-The Hotel is owned equally by twelve First mains consistent with those who continueNations of the Prince Albert Grand Coun- to live close to the land.cil, including the Lac La Ronge IndianBand. First Nations Insurance Services Ltd. offers group pension and benefits to firstKitsaki Meats Limited Partnership pro- nations, their institutions, and businesses.duces meat snacks sold across Canada un- Started by Kitsaki, ownership is now beingder a variety of private labels. It is one of transferred to the Federation of Saskatche-only a few federally inspected meat plants wan Indian Nations. Peter Ballantyne Creein Saskatchewan, and the only one in the Nation is also a minority partner. The com-north. The plant can smoke; process and pany’s plan is tailored to suit first nationpackage a wide range of products including people. While status Indians enjoy certainnatural jerky ground and formed jerky, in basic treaty benefits, the benefit plan of-both individual sticks and bulk packaging. fered by First Nations Insurance builds onThe company also sells its own Northern these basic benefits and adds many addi-Lights line of meat snacks. tional important benefits. The First Nations Insurance pension plan puts first nationsThe retail meat division supplies fresh meat people in charge of first nations invest-to a variety of customers across northern mentsSaskatchewan. Better quality food at lowerprices is one of the benefits that Kitsaki has Athabasca Catering Limited Partnershipbrought to the north. It is also provided does food service and janitorial work for aunique training opportunities, in a manufac- variety of northern mines, and in particularturing environment, to many northern abo- for Cameco Corporation. Kitsaki and pri-riginal people. Kitsaki meats is also a grow- vate entrepreneurs started the company.ing exporter of Wild Rice. The ownership base was subsequently ex- panded to include the first nations of BlackLa Ronge Industries Ltd. is the largest Lake, Fond du Lac, Hatchet Lake, and Eng-grower of wild rice in western Canada. lish River. The employees of AthabascaWild rice is a gourmet, organic food that is have served millions of meals to hungrypopular in quality restaurants and kitchens miners across the north, and the companyaround the world. The business is 51% has been able to pay tens of millions of dol-owned by Kitsaki, and 49% by a corpora- lars in wages to the employees whom aretion controlled by the Federation of Sas- primarily aboriginal people of northernkatchewan Indian Nations. It controls wild Saskatchewan. The seven-day in seven dayrice leases scattered throughout hundreds of out nature of the employment means thatpicturesque lakes in remote areas of north- even people from remote communities canern Saskatchewan. The Lac La Ronge In- hold these jobs and still stay in their homedian Band also has extensive wild rice areas community during their time out.on its reserve lands. The rice is harvested,from a variety of shallow areas in lakes and
  22. 22. - 20 -Dakota Winds Kitsaki Mechanical Ser- vices for both surface and undergroundvices Ltd. performs plumbing, heating, re- mine sites. The company can also providefrigeration, and mechanical services in Sas- extensive related construction service. Thekatchewan. The business was originally joint venture partners of this business in-started by Whitecap Dakota Sioux First clude Keewatin Mining Corporation, aNations and Inter-city Mechanical (1985) company owned by Kitsaki, together withLtd. Kitsaki joined as an owner in 1999 as the first nations of Black Lake, Hatchetthe company expanded to La Ronge. The Lake, and Fond du Lac. Keewatin ownscompany’s target areas of growth include 51% of the joint venture. While the otherprovince wide contracts in both the public 49% is owned by Procon Mining and Tun-and mining sectors. They are also involved neling Ltd. Procon has extensive miningwith the expansion of the northern indus- and tunneling experience using a variety oftrial projects such as sawmilling, natural mining techniques, both surface and under-gas distribution, and the maintenance of ground, and has operated in a wide varietycommercial infrastructures. The company of soil conditions. Procon also operates anhas developed a successful training and industrial construction division, as well asrecruitment model for aboriginal youth that maintaining a division that can provide ex-will meet the future needs of the company tensive access to a great variety of heavyand their home communities as they be- equipment. Keewatin Procon has success-come trained journey persons. This busi- fully completed projects at Macarthurness, using unionized labor, is capable of River, McLean Lake, and Cigar Lake. Thetraining in five different trades, plumbing, joint venture was also involved in the Nistopipefitting, welding, refrigeration, and sheet Mine Decommissioning.metal. Source: Adapted from Kitsaki Development Corpo-Wapawekka Lumber Limited Partner- ration Website by Wayne Dunn & Associates Ltd.ship is a modern technology sawmill lo-cated north of Prince Albert. The 22.5 mil-lion-dollar sawmill processes small diame-ter logs into lumber. Started in 1999, thebusiness brings Kitsaki together with PeterBallantyne Cree Nation, Montreal LakeCree Nation and Weyerhaeuser Canada.The business has already established itselfas an extremely safe world-class sawmillbased on a unique partnership and a diversetalented work force. Wapawekka Lumber isa unique partnership between the WoodlandCree and Weyerhaeuser creating highervalue quality products from small diameterlogs, while providing employees with ongo-ing growth and career opportunities. Thehighly skilled, predominately aboriginalwork force, have been trained in a varietyof areas including, computers, fire andsafety, work systems, cultural awareness,principles of teamwork, W.H.M.I.S. andoccupational health and safety.Keewatin/Procon Joint Venture has beenestablished to provide contract-mining ser-
  23. 23. - 21 - Without profits, none of this would be pos- sible.”4 Strategies and TacticsThe experience of indigenous business de- 4.2 Organizational Considera-velopment in Canada and elsewhere in the tionsAmericas suggests a number of strategiesand tactics that may be considered by In- Business development requires a businessdigenous Peoples in Ecuador as they seek organization. For various historical andto participate more productively in the Ec- developmental reasons, Indigenous Peo-uadorian economy. The following are pre- ple’s organizations are generally structuredsented as suggestions for exploration only as political/social organizations. This typeas the author does not have direct experi- of organization is often necessary for theence in indigenous development in Ecua- pursuit of political and social objectives.dor, and accordingly is reluctant to offer However, it does not immediately lend it-specific recommendations. However, based self to use as a business development or-on experiences in other locations in the ganization. In addition to various legal is-Americas, there appears to be some univer- sues surrounding undertaking profit ori-sality in the following strategies and tactics. ented projects, the organizational structure of political/social organizations is often too cumbersome and restrictive to enable a pro-4.1 Profitability and Business active and strategic approach to business. Objectives In general, to participate more effectively inBusinesses should be run to make an eco- business and economic development, it isnomic profit. This is not to say that the necessary to have a business organizationbusiness may not have other, higher-level that is dedicated to this objective. Two ap-objectives, or that the profits cannot be re- proaches that have been used successfullyinvested in the development of people and are:community. But, if a business does notconsistently produce an economic profit, it • Wholly owned business corpora-cannot survive to meet other employment tion – One approach that has beenand development objectives. The experi- used successfully is for the politi-ence in Canada and elsewhere demonstrates cal/social organization to create aconclusively that failure to maintain a focus wholly owned business develop-on business viability and profitability lead ment corporation that is structuredto failure and the inability to meet other such that it meets the legal re-developmental objectives. As Chief Harry quirements to enable it to go intoCook of the Lac La Ronge First Nation has private, profit oriented business.explained numerous times, “If our busi- The political/social organizationnesses do not produce a profit, they cannot would generally own 100% of thefulfil our employment, training, manage- shares in the corporation. Often thement and capacity development objectives. ownership is a trust arrangementBut, if they are profitable, they can provide whereby the shares are owned inthe fuel that allows our people to become trust for the members of the organi-more productive participants in the econ- zation. While the legal require-omy and meet our other development objec- ments of the country will havetives. The profits from our businesses have some impact on how the Board ofenabled us to provide our people with a Directors is constituted and otherrange of training, social development, cul- organizational requirements, thetural development and other objectives. business corporation will generally