The Economic Development Program provides a wide range of advisory services to promote, plan and assist in the implementation of economic development activities that supported economic activity for membership of Bimose Tribal Council.
Bimose Tribal Council Inc. is a First Nation service provider that supports 10 communities in the Treaty # 3 region.
The mandate of our Economic Development program within the Tribal Council is to offer support to the business development and business support initiatives for our First Nations, First Nation member Organizations, First Nation members Businesses. This mandate was first envisioned when the Tribal Council took local control for services to replace District offices of Indian Northern Affairs Canada which closed in 1988.
As part of the on-going development of the Bimose Tribal Council, member First Nations involved have established that there is a need to give specific focus, as a group, to the economic development needs of their First Nations. This is not to say that economic development issues are not related to concerns of First Nation government, community planning, capital planning and the provision of technical and financial management services to Bimose First Nations, but member Nations confirm that is does represent:
- That Economic Development requires special attention when its present stage of development in First Nation communities is compared to developments in other fields.
- There is an urgent need to elevate levels of employment, income development in First Nations through focusing on Economic Development projects.
- There are specific opportunities in the field of economic development in Bimose First Nation territories which are emerging which can be profitably taken advantage of by First Nations peoples if economic development support is provided for them.
In 1991 Kakina Economic Development Group Inc was formed as a non-profit corporation. This corporation has over time acquired building assets which have generated rental revenue for member Nations to the Kakina Economic Development Group Inc – non-profit.
As a non-profit corporation, aspects of our continued successful activity combined with new rules for corporations suggested new considerations to membership that would allow continued and greater growth.
- KEDG has performed well to this point.
- KEDG has earned/retained/acquired assets.
- How do we plan for wealth growth and potential distribution to member Nations.
These changes have created options for change discussed by member Nations
- Convert Structure to permit transfer of “profit” to member organizations.
- Share Capital Corporation
- Limited Partnership Structure
- Status Quo – remain as KEDG non profit.
Beginning in 2011, Bimose Board of Directors and Council of Chiefs completed a 5 Year Strategic Plan that included specific action and strategies that were to give specific focus on regional opportunity and First Nation-based business development and business advisory services.
The challenge for Bimose Tribal Council is to provide a full range of services first envisioned when formed in 1988, this challenge is no less important now in the face of changing environments, new legislation and a fast changing economy. These aspects demand greater awareness and our ability as Anishinaabe to ensure our place on the lands remains and that responsibilities that flow from the Creator are kept. Our rights and responsibilities are rooted in our Kidakiimi’naan in our own governments and laws and for our ability to make decisions for ourselves and for the future generations, our spiritual beliefs and practices, our languages, our cultures, customs and traditions, our freedom to move in our Kidakiimi’naan.
As Anishinaabe member to Bimose, we have agreed amongst ourselves and with other Nations who were our relatives that our relationships are based on the laws of our Anishinaabeg knowing that the future generations depend on us to make decisions for their survival. We believe our internal convention sets a direction and means to embrace member Values and Goals. Bimose has maintained the principle that it is essential to have our member Nations involved fully in the economic drivers of the territory.
To continue this impetus, in the summer of 2016, our member Nations confirmed the direction to form a for profit business structure utilizing a Limited Partnership and General Partnership to begin taking advantage of opportunity for our membership.
In this year and coming years we hope to assist, promote, plan and provide services that maximize for profit markets our newly formed Limited Partnership. Our LP and GP will follow the guiding principles first established by membership in 1991 to carry on any business, adventure in the nature of trade or other commercial activity for the general benefit of the Partners with a view to profit. In accordance with the following:
- promote and advance the economic and social well-being of persons of Anishinaabe origin who are members of the First Nations which comprise the Bimose Tribal Council (as per the letters patent of Kakina); and
- walk to strengthen our Anishinaabe way and to build a better, stronger, healthier life for the Anishinaabeg; and for such other purposes consistent with the above and Anishinaabe principles
Our Leadership has agreed to enter into this Limited Partnership Agreement with set out governing responsibility that maintains our own Anishinaabe Principles;
The mutual covenants and agreements contained in our limited partner and General Partner Agreement will set a path forward for the Economic Development Program of Bimose Tribal Council. We have developed these partnerships in parallel to Bimose Tribal Council. This approach has been used to manage costs and ensure Leadership is fully involved and participatory to development on a regional basis. Operations of these partnerships have been begun this past fall and will provide a vehicle to investigate business opportunity now and into the future.
Louie Seymour, Economic Development Advisor