iSummit to address partnerships

By Geoff Lee

October 11, 2016 12:00 AM

Indigenous business opportunities will be under the spotlight at this week’s 4th annual Indigenous Economic Partnership Summit.
The iSummit, as its also called, brings together Saskatchewan/Alberta businesses and First Nations and Metis business leaders to share success stories and best practices.
“They will provide an avenue to meet and connect for beneficial relationships,” said Ward Read, CEO Lloydminster Economic Development Corporation, one of the hosting organizations.
The networking kicks off with a VIP invitational supper Oct. 12 in the Prairie Room at Lloydminster Exhibition Grounds with the iSummit taking place on Oct. 13 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m at the same location.
Read expects the size and scope of this year’s iSummit will be similar to last year given the prevailing economic conditions, but with more concrete business partnerships to talk about.
“We’ve got a lot better connection between the mainstream Lloydminster community with our Indigenous neighbours with Onion Lake and Little Pine First Nations,” said Read. “Now we’re seeing development of the casino development with Indigenous investment.”
The Lloydminster casino development is expected to create 140 jobs with a $6.5 million annual payroll.
Read says over the years, the iSummit seems to bring a level of openness that will benefit Indigenous and non Indigenous business interests.
The focus of discussion will be on Entrepreneurship and Human Resource policies.
There will be keynote speeches by Clint Davis, an Indigenous business advisor with Acasta Capital and by Terry Bird who will talk about First Nations and Metis Initiatives and K+S Potash Canada in Saskatoon.
Read said local businesses can expect short term economic boost and long term benefits.
“There’s a couple of impacts, one of them is we’re bringing some out of towners into our community and they are staying in hotels and eating in restaurants and that brings a few dollars into our community,” he said.
He said the long term impact is better economic connections and communication between Indigenous and non Indigenous businesses and partnerships that create jobs for everyone involved.
“We’ve seen a lot more interest and open participation,” said Read.”
Onion lake has been very involved in our community for years and I think we’re starting to see things a little more visible and being celebrated for success.”
The iSummit is also being presented by the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce, Office of the Treaty Commissioner,  Lloydminster Construction Association, Onion Lake Business Development Corporation.

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