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Chuck Strahl, minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and federal interlocutor for Metis and Non-Status Indians, has announced a contribution to Westcap Mgt. Ltd. for a new initiative that will help Aboriginal communities establish resource and energy businesses in Saskatchewan.

The Business Ready Investment Development Gateway (BRIDG) initiative is a three-year pilot investment that will provide funding and training to Aboriginal communities in Saskatchewan to help make them business-ready.

Communities will receive support to register an economic development corporation, retain and mentor a business champion and establish proper governance procedures - readying them to take advantage of key business opportunities in the resource and energy sectors.

Businesses that are successfully established under the BRIDG initiative will continue to work with Westcap and other industry partners to identify business opportunities and source other investment capital.

"This innovative initiative is the first of its kind in Canada, and Saskatchewan is the ideal place to launch it, given the province's abundance of natural resources and alternative energy developments in hydro and wind power," says Grant Kook, president and CEO of Westcap Mgt. Ltd.

The government of Canada will provide C$3.9 million to help establish the initiative through the Major Resource and Energy Development Investments Initiative, a pilot program run by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. These investments are designed to help Aboriginal businesses to partner in some of the most important economic developments and energy projects in the country.

SOURCE: Office of Indian Affairs and Northern Development



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