Mosquito Grizzly Bear`s Head Lean Man First Nation (MGBHLM) is pleased to announce the implementation of our officially-incorporated MGBHLM Economic Development Corporation Inc., in July 2019. Our economic development corporation is guided by an active, knowledgeable, strong and independent Board of Directors, who work at-arms-length from Chief and Council. We are very fortunate for the wealth of experience they bring to our board, as a result of their diverse backgrounds in business and project management, gained from operating local businesses and working for different local organizations.
The reason for officially incorporating our MGBHLM Economic Development Corporation Inc. is to separate the business of economic development, or earning money for our people, which our corporation is responsible for, from the daily operations of our band, which our Chief & Council and Band Manager are responsible for, with the support of all of our band staff.
The Corporation is managed by a Corporate Executive Officer (CEO), who is hired by the Board and responsible for the daily affairs of the corporation, with the goal of making money for MGBHLM. The CEO works closely with our Corporate Lawyer, who takes care of the legalities of all of our corporate business affairs, and one staff member, who manages our new business. The CEO reports directly to the Board of Directors and liaisons with Chief and Council, in the interest of establishing profitable businesses, which our people will benefit from. These benefits include training opportunities, work experience and employment, in addition to creating more “own source revenues” for MGBHLM to further grow our economy.
The purpose of the MGBHLM Economic Development Corporation Inc. is to create new businesses, which will earn profits to provide us with additional OWN SOURCE REVENUES, on top of those described in the Lands & Resources section. So we are quite excited about the potential to earn more money for the things our people need, but which ISC does not provide funding for.
Our MGBHLM Economic Development Corporation Inc. got off to a great start by setting up three new businesses, which they are working hard to make successful. However, it is understood that most new businesses require about 3-5 years to be profitable, and it is our hope that all three of our businesses will provide us with a large RETURN ON INVESTMENT, within that time. This includes:
Ø Three Nations Gas Bar & Convenience Store
Ø MGBHLM Construction
Ø MGBHLM Security.
Since officially becoming incorporated, the MGBHLM Economic Development Corporation Inc. purchased 138-acres of land from the Oblates, which is situated on a very beautiful piece of property, overlooking the Battle River Valley, south of the trestle bridge. This property includes a large well-kept main building, where the corporate offices are now located, as well as numerous outbuildings. A business plan is being developed to convert some of this space into a landmark Indigenous Historical Resort Oasis. This will include a 5-Star Hotel with spa, fine-dining restaurant featuring Indigenous-themed cuisine, and a scenic meditation walk along a historically-significant trail.
We are excited about our plan to market our proposed Tourist destination, with a spiritual/cultural theme, to attract national and international guests. We are also excited about developing our Training & Business Development Centre, in the same building as our corporate offices. The first programs to be offered will be a Heavy Equipment Operator Program, scheduled for the Summer of 2020, and a Home Builder Program, expected to commence soon after.Funding support is also being sought for the MGBHLM Youth Healing, Empowerment, Education & Employment Program, with the intention of offering new training programs, in January 2021.
We also are planning to offer First Nations Staff Capacity-Building Retreats to our own staff, as well as marketing our Retreats to other First Nations who will also want to enjoy the amenities of our proposed Spa, provided in the beautiful natural and historic setting. At the same time, staff members will be provided with powerful capacity-building training sessions, which will support them in developing socially and economically, in their own communities, as well as our own. We are also planning to use this Centre to offer Healing Retreats for Indigenous Language Revitalization & Recovery and as a place to offer exciting Business Generator Workshops – and more!
Therefore, in addition to setting up our own MGBHLM-owned and operated businesses, to help us develop our local economy and create more of our OWN SOURCE REVENUES, a secondary goal our MGBHLM Economic Development Corporation Inc. is to support us in developing our social capital – which is OUR PEOPLE. Therefore, getting our people off of Social Assistance, through training, employment and entrepreneurship, is another important goal of our corporation, in order to help us all gain pride in our accomplishments and hope for our future, as sovereign Nakoda people!
Our MGBHLM Economic Development Corporation Inc. is also working on developing a number of other businesses, which they are conducting feasibility studies for, at this time. This includes a possible gravel business and plans to take back our pasture lands to set up our own livestock operation. Both of these businesses will create more jobs and help grow our local economy. Studies are also being conducted about the feasibility of buying greenhouses and investing in market gardens, and so much more! Not only will these business ventures provide us with more of OWN SOURCE REVENUES, once they start making a profit, but they will also provide us with our own “food security”, if the day ever comes when Superstore shuts its doors, and we are left to fend for ourselves, as our ancestors have always done, since the beginning of time.
Based on what our people indicated, in our CDP Surveys, our MGBHLM Economic Development Corporation Inc. is already well on the way to meeting our economic development goals, as shown following: