New PPE factory bringing 50 jobs to Wiikwemkoong

A new building in the Wiikwemkoong light industrial park gets ready to accept the machinery needed to manufacture personal protective gear as FN Procurement Inc., in partnership with medical equipment manufacturer Dent-X, is setting up shop in the community. The new facility will host up to 50 new jobs in a major economic boost for the Unceded Territories. photo by Michael Erskine

WIIKWEMKOONG – A major economic boost has come to the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory. Medical equipment manufacturer Dent-X Canada, in partnership with FN Procurement Inc., is setting up operations in the new light industrial park. The facility will help Canada meet the increasing demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) with a made-in-Canada solution.

“On behalf of council and our citizens, I am very pleased to support the partnership of Dent-X Canada and FN Procurement Inc. in bringing significant employment opportunities to Wiikwemkoong and providing for economic spin-offs for Manitoulin Island and the Sudbury District,” said Wiikwemkoong Ogimaa Duke Peltier in a release announcing the new facility.

Jimmy Emms, president of Dent-X Canada, said he believes the new facility is just the beginning toward a long-lasting relationship between corporate Canada and First Nations people. “First Nations people have capacities and dreams of working and providing for their families and more companies can partner with First Nations to drive home made-in-Canada solutions,” he said.

General manager of Enaadmaagehjik (Wikwemikong Development Commission), Mary Lynn Odjig, said she is excited for Wiikwemkoong to have this opportunity and to “demonstrate to corporate Canada, First Nations are willing and able to partner in economic ventures and succeed when working together.”

Dent-X spokesperson and president of FN Procurement Inc. Matt Owl has been kept busy setting the groundwork for production to begin at the facility in Wiikwemkoong. “I’ve spent the last few days getting the machinery in place and setting everything up,” he said when contacted by The Expositor following the release. “It is a very exciting time.” 

The release notes that Wiikwemkoong ogimaa and council granted authority for Enaadmaagehjik to manage the rental agreement and to provide space within one of the buildings in the light industrial park.

An official opening and ribbon-cutting celebration is tentatively slated for Thursday, November 26.