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Bearskin Lake, Naongashiing receive funding for business centres

Thursday December 19, 2013

The Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing (Big Island) are looking forward to the construction of a new 7,000-square-foot business centre.

“We are extremely excited by the opportunity to have a store and tourism centre in our community,” said Anishinaabeg of Naongashiing Chief Wesley Big George. “This store and tourism centre, created by our First Nation, will serve our neighbours, the surrounding area and visitors from the United States. We hope that having ongoing access to goods and services will not only be convenient for residents and visitors, but also create economic opportunities for our community.”

The Treaty #3 community will receive $501,500 in support from Ontario’s Aboriginal Community Capital Grants Program for the $1.5 million project, which includes a gas bar, grocery store, post office, gift shop and general store.

“It is important that communities have a gathering place where cultural and educational activities can take place and community development initiatives can flourish,” said David Zimmer, minister of Aboriginal Affairs. “As One Ontario, we will continue to work with First Nations and Aboriginal organizations to move forward on important capital projects that help build stronger, more vibrant communities.”

About 20 jobs will be created during the construction phase of the project, and about four full-time and six part-time positions are expected to be created once the businesses are in operation.

Bearskin Lake is also set to receive $750,000 from the Aboriginal Community Capital Grants Program to support the $1.4-million expansion of its community centre, which will create jobs and enhance educational and training opportunities in the community.

Expected to be completed in 2014, the expansion will include new meeting and recreational facilities, a space for community programming and events and a new cafeteria.

The Aboriginal Community Capital Grants Program has provided more than $30.7 million to support 112 major and minor capital grants and related feasibility studies to build or improve community centres and small business centres across the province since 2003.


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