Blogs

  • Departing Remarks from SFNEDN Executive Director Shaun Soonias

    After nearly three fantastic years at the Saskatchewan First Nations Economic Development Network, I am sharing that I will be moving on in my journey. I have accepted the role of Director, Indigenous Relations with Farm Credit Canada. SFNEDN has provided unique and much needed capacity and networking opportunities for our First Nations communities and

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  • The Tax Man Cometh: An Interview with Keith Fonstad

    By Heather Exner-Pirot This month we interview Keith Fonstad CPA, CA, the Provincial Director for MNP Saskatchewan’s Indigenous Services and a board member with the Saskatchewan First Nations Economic Development Network. HEP: What is a First Nations-owned business? KF: Saying your business is First Nations-owned has different implications for different contexts. For procurement purposes, for

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  • Solid Foundations: An Interview with John Keewatin

    By Heather Exner-Pirot This month we interview John Keewatin, a member of the Key First Nation and owner of Key Concrete Services, a 100% First Nations-owned business located on Whitecap Dakota Reserve and English River Business Centre. HEP: Tell me about Key Concrete. How did you get started? JK: I got started in 2008. A

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  • Harvesting the Forest – An Interview with Randy Johns

    By Heather Exner-Pirot This month we interview Randy Johns, the CEO of Keewatin Community Development Association (KCDA), based in La Ronge. HEP: What are non-timber forest products? Which products do we have in Saskatchewan? RJ: Non-timber forest products (NTFP) include any plant that grows in the forest that isn’t used for lumber. Everything from the

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  • Fishy Business: Indigenous Aquaculture in Central Canada – An interview with Nicholas Huber

    This month, SFNEDN’s Heather Exner-Pirot interviews Nicholas Huber, an Aquaculture Development Officer responsible for the Aboriginal Aquaculture in Canada Initiative (AACI) in Saskatchewan. HEP: What is aquaculture? NH: The best way to think about it as is underwater agriculture: the cultivation of aquatic animals and plants (fish, shellfish, seaweed) in a natural, controlled marine or

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  • WIBF Rotorua New Zealand

    This October 9-11, 2018, Rotorua, New Zealand hosted the 9th annual World Indigenous Business Forum.  I was fortunate enough to attend this great event so far from home.  While being up for 36 hours travelling there and 42 hours for the return trip was daunting to say the least, the experience, people, culture and beautiful

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  • Indigenous Tourism Hitting New Strides in Saskatchewan: An Interview with Christian Boyle

    By Heather Exner-Pirot This month, SFNEDN talks to Christian Boyle, owner of Glyph Creative Strategy, about the budding Indigenous tourism in Saskatchewan. HEP: How did you first get involved in the tourism industry? CB: My background is in community and economic development, but I’ve mainly focused on the tourism industry. My love of tourism comes

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  • Values And Integrity The Key To Flying Dust’s Economic Success: An Interview With Albert Derocher

    By Heather Exner-Pirot This month, SFNEDN interviews Albert Derocher, the General Manager of FDB Holdings – Flying Dust First Nation’s corporate arm.  Exner-Pirot: Can you tell me a little bit about FDB Holdings? Derocher: FDB has a long history – it started in 1988, thirty years ago. Even before that, Flying Dust had a number

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  • Are First Nations Organizations Viable Partners for Business Succession and Transition in Saskatchewan?

    By Peter Moroz Many successful entrepreneurs and business people in Saskatchewan are looking to transition their companies via sale, succession or partnerships. A recent Canadian survey suggests that this applies to upwards of 70% of small and medium sized businesses. The succession of these companies is important to the economy for reasons beyond their contribution

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  • Interest In Cannabis Growing Op With First Nations: Interview With Shaun Soonias

    By Heather Exner-Pirot What has sparked the sudden interest in cannabis as an economic opportunity? The plan for legalization of marijuana by the Liberal government is the primary trigger. But there’s also been more research on medicinal uses of the plant and its use in general becoming much more mainstream. Equally important, there’s lots of

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