Network closing gap between First Nation businesses and mining – by Karen McKinley (Northern Ontario Business – March 20, 2019)

More mining companies are seeking to do business with First Nation businesses to take care of supplying services. Waubetek Business Development Corporation in the Whitefish River First Nation is making it easier for those companies to find each other with the announcement of the Association of Indigenous Mining Suppliers, at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) on March 5.

Waubetek general manager Dawn Madahbee Leach and mining project manager Stacey Vincent Cress said the association has been in the works for months to meet the growing demand for more partnerships.

It is a nationwide initiative with dozens of companies already listed in the association and it is seeking out more. Cress said this announcement was just to let people know the association has been created. It is an initiative of the chiefs within Waubetek.

“We are just starting to ramp up now,” he said. “It’s a strategy by the corporation and the government. We are just connecting the dots for it.”

Cress explained every time Indigenous businesses and mining companies go to a convention or forum like PDAC there is always talk about engagement and employment between the two. The association is going to be the conduit in best practices, case studies and resources for First Nations, Metis, Inuit and industry.

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