WIKWEMIKONG—The Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) has announced an investment of $49,500 to enable the Wikwemikong Unceeded Indian Reserve to develop a strategic plan to help maximize the economic potential of its forest resource imaging business. Once complete, the plan will allow the community to better assess its business operations, identify ways to achieve operational efficiencies, outline employee training needs, and adopt industry best practices.
“We welcome and appreciate this opportunity to partner with the Government of Canada through FedNor to strengthen the economic foundation of our community,” said Wikwemikong Chief Duke Peltier. “This investment will help provide us with the resources we need to grow our economy, create local jobs and further position the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve as open for business.”
Chief Peltier explained that Wikwemikong has been a successful bidder on contracts with the Ministry of Natural Resources of Forestry (MNRF) for forest resource imaging and hopes that with the FedNor funding, they will be able obtain more contacts and to expand their business to survey land claims and infrastructure projects.
The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry and Minister for FedNor, said that the investment will help support jobs, economic development and business growth in Wikwemikong.
“The Harper Government is proud to support the economic and business development efforts of the Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve,” said Minister Rickford. “The investment will help the First Nation community to create an economic road map that will guide future business decisions and better position the community to capitalize on emerging opportunities within the forestry sector.” FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth and facilitate innovation throughout the region. Since 2006, through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, the Harper Government has invested $343 million in support of more than 1,645 projects. These investments have supported more than 21,500 jobs throughout Northern Ontario.