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September 10, 2009
A ceremony in Wynyard today marks the beginning of a unique commitment to explore the development of joint tourism ventures in the Touchwood Hills region involving First Nations.The Ministry of First Nations and Métis Relations Aboriginal Employment Development (AED) branch will sign a partnership agreement with a diverse group of communities and organizations in the region at Wynyard’s Civic Centre.
“The tourism industry is a natural sector for collaboration and employment development,” First Nations and Métis Relations Minister Bill Hutchinson said. “There is a long shared history between First Nations and European settlements in southern Saskatchewan. This partnership is an excellent example of how the province’s First Nations communities are increasingly developing strong economic plans and opportunities.”
Along with First Nations and Métis Relations, the list of partners includes four First Nations (Kawacatoose, Day Star, George Gordon, Muskowekwan); the towns of Wynyard and Raymore; the villages of Quinton and Punnichy; the rural municipalities of Big Quill and Emerald; the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Saskatchewan Inc., and Tourism Saskatchewan.
“This agreement will open the door to the opportunities that are before us,” Kawacatoose First Nation Chief Dennis Dustyhorn said. “It’s very important to us to work together with our partners as we move forward.”
The four First Nations in this partnership have agreed to work closely with Tourism Saskatchewan and the Aboriginal Tourism Association of Saskatchewan to develop a strategic regional tourism plan.
“This agreement between Kawacatoose First Nation and surrounding communities will enhance the tourism industry in the Touchwood Hills region,” Aboriginal Tourism Association of Saskatchewan manager Lorne Carrier said. “Our partners will benefit economically from increased visitations by tourists.”
Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal Employment Development initiative is focused on bringing the largely untapped First Nations and Métis workforce into the province’s growing economy. All AED partners work to identify and address barriers to training, hiring and retaining First Nations and Métis people.
Visit www.fnmr.gov.sk.ca/aedp/ to learn more about the program.
For more information, contact:
First Nations and Métis Relations
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