Ground-breaking [First Nation] partnership – by Kyle Gennings (Timmins Daily Press – February 28, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Local entrepreneurs had the opportunity to explore First Nations partnerships on Wednesday.

As part of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce’s Inisde Their Business series, guests were treated to a unique perspective on an emerging market by the man who has led the way in First Nations partnerships, Compass Carriers president Chris McKay.

Compass Carriers is a transportation company whose creation was made possible through a ground-breaking partnership between Mattagami First Nations and BazCorp Inc. and as a consultant, McKay helped to forge the already successful business venture.

“When the forestry industry took a downturn, our First Nation had no other choice but to look for an alternative to employ our skilled workforce,” he said. “This opportunity, which we created, took several years to come to fruition. It wasn’t something that we had to scramble to accommodate, it was something that took time and effort to build.”

In building this business venture, one of many that McKay has helped to create, the First Nation entered into some unfamiliar territory as it took its first step into modern business. “We had a skilled workforce trained to operate heavy equipment, which had been scattered all over the place in their search for work,” he said.

“We wanted to bring as much of that skilled work force back home as we laid the foundations that this company was built upon.”

This foundation has provided the roots for a company tree that has already branched into several markets.

“Since the formation of the company, Mattagami First Nations has forged 10 exploration agreements within their territory along with other agreements,” said McKay. “The vision of our company, as a First Nations owned trucking and construction service is to provide reliable service within our territory.”

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