Community Category Finalists
Carcross Tagish Management Corporation
The Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN) is located in the town of Carcross, in the Yukon Territory. The original inhabitants of this area are the Tagish people, and later became the home of Tlingit traders from Southeast Alaska who were venturing into the interior of the Yukon for trade purposes, perhaps for 200 to 300 years prior to contact in the Yukon. Today many of the Carcross/Tagish First Nation people are descendants of both Tagish and Tlingit. As of January 2006, the Carcross/Tagish First Nation is a self-governing First Nation. As a self-governing First Nation with complete control of its future, Carcross/Tagish First Nations is looking for ways to advance the business potential that exists in the Carcross region. CTFN owns 1,554 square kilometers of land that is nestled between four mountain peaks and a large, bountiful lake system. The community has been active in pursuing eco-tourism opportunities that will promote the local economy while minimizing the environment footprint of economic development. The CTFN government has established and mandated the Carcross Tagish Management Corporation (CTMC) to act on behalf of the CTFN with the lofty vision to create a local year-around private sector economy within their negotiated settlement lands.
CTMC created a strategy which includes mountain bike trails, a retail development, accommodations and a water front residential subdivision. Montana Mountain’s "single track to success” initiative now has 65 kilometers of world class mountain bike trails hand cut by local First Nation youth. They also recently celebrated breaking ground on the Carcross Commons: a Commercial Village to service the 100,000 summer guests who arrive by planes, trains and automobiles that now includes bikers, hikers, and wind boarders. This winter CTMC passed a humble but notable milestone. The company, for the first time, has provided local employment year around. Local people worked all winter to construct the retail village, bringing the community one step closer to its vision of providing year round jobs for its people. Justin Ferbey, the CEO of CTMC states, "We have negotiated for the opportunity to flourish and see our people live a life sought by other Canadians: to be safe, healthy and proud of their nation. The tools, the timing and the opportunity are there: the choice is ours.” There is no doubt that the Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN) has decided to succeed, and in so many ways, already has.
Kahkewistahaw Economic Management Corporation
Kahkewistahaw First Nation (KFN) is located in southeastern Saskatchewan within Treaty 4 territory, and next to the Qu'Appelle Valley. In 2002, Chief and Council sought to establish a new corporate structure that would position the First Nation for future growth and development opportunities, generate wealth and employment, and that would protect the First Nation from any negative consequences should any of the business enterprises not succeed. The Kahkewistahaw Economic Management Corporation (KEMC) and its group of companies were established, separating the business and economic development function from the daily administration and politics of the First Nation. KEMC develops and oversees all business activities associated with KFN, which includes an award winning Petro Canada Gas & Convenience Store, a Home Inn & Suites Hotel, Mamawi Holdings and a newly created Sand & Gravel business.
The Petro Canada started operations in 2004, and currently employs approximately 23 community members, has generated millions of dollars of revenue and is currently on pace to contribute over $500,000.00 this fiscal year. Realizing the importance of partnerships, KEMC established a lucrative partnership with D3H Hotels, a hotel management company that owns and operates ten hotels across Western Canada. The new Home Inn and Suites is an $8 million dollar facility, just opened in March 2013, and is located on KFN land in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. Mamawi Holdings is the entity that manages over 40 million dollars' worth of developed property in Yorkton, all of it located on Kahkewistahaw First Nation land and generates over $600,000.00 in lease revenue each fiscal year. These revenues have enabled the KEMC to create a new company called Kahkewistahaw Sand & Gravel, established in partnership with Peter's Crushing and Hauling. After investing nearly one million dollars into equipment required to begin operations, the new company has already begun generating revenue from its machinery and the product it makes. Today, KEMC is a successful economic development organization with multi-million dollars in revenue and multi-million dollars in development on Kahkewistahaw First Nation land. There is no question that Kahkewistahaw First Nation has attained a commendable measure of success in their economic development endeavors, and will continue to create employment and wealth for their members and the general public at large well into the future.