Calendar of Events

Saskatchewan Indigenous Business Forum Spotlight on Gravel

Please join the Saskatchewan First Nations Economic Development Network and our partner Co-operatives First at our upcoming Saskatchewan Indigenous Business Forum Spotlight on Gravel.

On March 4, 2019, we are following up on our December 2018 spotlight on gravel forum.  Our forum will explore next steps focusing on the co-operative business model as a path forward for First Nations to enter the gravel market in Saskatchewan.  We will also be reviewing governance and business planning foundational to a successful gravel business.

Co-operatives First can provide supports with education on the co-operative model and address questions from of stakeholders including, roles within the co-op, requirements of starting a co-operative, and benefits to members.

Co-operatives First has ongoing supports available including creation of the co-op, governance and business supports.  As a dedicated resource, Co-operatives First will assist with the incorporation documents, creation of bylaws and governance supports as well as business supports which can include the covering the costs of conducting a feasibility study, business plan or legal costs incurred.

To assist in our working day please come prepared to discuss the following:

  • Where are you in the process of business planning?
  • Within your land holdings, what gravel reserves exist and where do they exist?
  • Has any feasibility or business planning been completed?
  • What infrastructure and/or equipment do you currently possess (trucks, graders, etc.)?
  • What governance or partnership model interest you most?
    • Sharing equipment, partnering with other First Nations on the overall business, shared capacity in operations of the business, shared operational capacity – shared resources for managing, HR, contracts, etc.


9:30 a.m.             Registration, Coffee & Muffins – Sponsored by Co-operatives First
10:00 a.m.           Opening Prayer, Frank Badger
10:10 a.m.           Welcome Remarks, Shaun Soonias, SFNEDN & Trista Pewapisconias, Co-operatives First
10:30 a.m.           The Co-op Model of Business, Trista Pewapisconias, Co-peratives First
11:15 a.m.           Saskatchewan First Nations Technical Services Co-operative, Tim Isnana
12:00 p.m.          Lunch – Sponsored by Co-operatives First
1:00 p.m.             Business Planning, Matt Vermette, Northern Research Group Inc.
2:00 p.m.             The Business of Gravel, FDB Gravel, Craig Derocher
3:00 p.m.             Group discussion and planning next steps
4:00 p.m.             Closing Remarks, Shaun Soonias and Trista Pewapisconias
Closing Prayer, Elder Frank Badger

SEDA and SFNEDN are excited to co-host our annual gathering of thought leaders and economic development enthusiasts.


  • Finetune Business Attraction with a 90 minute ‘Cold Calling’ seminar hosted by the BDC
  • Regina Warehouse District Distillery & Craft Brewery Tour

April 30 – May 2, 2019
Ramada Plaza
Regina, SK
Phone: (306) 569-1444
Quote Room Code CGSEDR

MAY 1 – 2, 2019

Features a robust program of plenary and concurrent sessions in three conference tracks:

OPENING KEYNOTE: Economic Outlook with Pierre Cleroux ,Vice President Research and Chief Economist, BDC

TRACK 1 Entrepreneurship Ecosystem. Entrepreneurship is not a buzzword. It is an economic development strategy. We need to increase the rate in which our entrepreneurs start companies if we want to increase the number of jobs in our communities.

  • PLENARY: Moni Minhas, President and CEO of Minhas Sask Distillery will share his love affair with Saskatchewan and why he chose to build the biggest distillery in Saskatchewan’s history.
  • Audacity! It’s more than beer and branding. Learn how Regina scaled up its entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • Growing entrepreneurship on Main Street.Now, more than ever, place matters. Because where you work is a choice, not a mandate. Are your Main Street businesses building culture, character and a place where people choose to live?
  • How to scale up your community and region. Around the world, regions are starting to thrive because they are activating stakeholders from different sectors to focus on one common goal: promoting growth by more local firms. What steps can we take locally, regionally and provincially in Saskatchewan?
  • Investment ready and entrepreneur friendly! Building a sustainable effective entrepreneurial infrastructure is not for the faint of heart – but a long-term strategy that will pay off for the future of your community and region. How can we rise to this challenge?
  • Leveraging the Federal Government. The Office of Small to Medium Size Business (Government of Canada) is here to help local businesses succeed.  Learn how to access their support to ensure the federal procurement system open to your local small and medium and regionally based businesses.
  • Filling the Management Gaps. Arguably one of the most challenging areas in any organization is Human Resource Management. From hiring and firing to addressing ad hoc demands, what are some potential solutions for municipalities, businesses and non-profits in Saskatchewan.

TRACK 2 Widening the Circle. Social and rural innovation, shared histories and reconciliation, are several examples of how we can expand the circle of who can benefit from economic development efforts.

  • PLENARY: Ken Coates, Research Chair in Regional Innovation with Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy will discuss the scientific and technological innovation necessary to improve quality of life in rural and remote communities as well as the challenging task of creating economic and employment opportunities in a troubled and rapidly changing time.
  • Multigenerational Living. Find out more about Regina’s Orange Tree Village, the first multi-generational care home facility in Saskatchewan.  Orange Tree is leading the charge to advance the senior living industry and improve the care home experience for seniors and their families.
  • Engaging Employers in the Business of Reconciliation.We are all Treaty people. Learn more about a pilot project aimed at raising awareness and providing tools to employers of Saskatchewan for responding to the Calls to Action and Reconciliation.
  • The Future of Pay for Success Financing. Also known as social impact bonds, this session will profile examples of how the private and public sector have collaborated in Saskatchewan to support not-for-profit initiatives and lead the way in social innovation. Is this option the way of the future?
  • Our Shared History: Cross Cultural Trails. Saskatchewan has numerous trails, used pre and post colonization. Today, many are known only to the locals, part of their unique folklore. Is there potential to use this shared history on our journey of healing and reconciliation? Can these trails bridge the past and form authentic tourism offerings?
  • Attracting Immigrant Entrepreneurs. Scaling up the entrepreneurship ecosystem means 1) more business growth and 2) successful business succession efforts. Find out more about the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (for Entrepreneurs) and its success rate in rural communities.

TRACK 3 Reimagining Opportunities. Our place based assets form the basis for opportunities in housing, tourism, cultural industries and more.  How can we strengthen these assets and use data to drive our efforts in attracting new investment?

  • PLENARY: Business Opportunities and Job Creation: Taking Cannabis to the Next Level
  • Pros & Cons of Open Space Economic Development.Economic Development Regina made the decision to go open space(literally) in 2018.  EDR will share the ‘why’ behind their recent move to co-working space and how this relates to their mission as Regina’s economic development authority.
  • Placemaking as a Driver.Leaders are seeking new approaches for place-based economic development to harness creativity and foster collaboration within and across communities. We will look at some existing examples and unexplored potential.
  • Leveraging the industrial ecosystem. Leveraging the industrial ecosystem. Instead of depending on a narrow industry view for cluster development, Economic Development Regina with support from several private and public partners, examined how related sectors are essential to expansion of an “industrial ecosystem” or a “cluster” – and how they could benefit from being part of a broader strategy. Discover how this can translate to your community or region.
  • Rural is Regional.Regardless of structure and whether communities have come together voluntarily or have been mandated by a higher power, regions are essential to the future of rural communities in Canada. Discover how regions and trade corridors in Alberta are making a difference in the future of their rural communities.
  • Data driven economic development.Market area analysis is the foundation of investment attraction efforts and the requisite to building a case for any new business. What is the right data; how can you find it; what is available free of charge; and what is not – and how do you form a business case for your community or business base.

Additional Activities:

IGNITE®SASK2019  is looking for 8 presenters!

SEDA & SFNEDN are excited to bring Ignite® back to the 2019 Intersections for Growth Conference. Ignite® is intended to exchange ideas and success stories – within a short time period. It will be scheduled for 1 hour and consist of up to eight 5-minute talks.  We invite presentations for Ignite® SASK2019, to be scheduled during the Intersections for Growth Conference May 1-2, 2019 in Regina.Download the Info Packet and submit Expression