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Honouring excellence in Aboriginal business leadership

June 2, 2014 — 

The 10th annual Excellence in Aboriginal Business Leadership Awards will be presented on October 9, 2014, at a gala event at RBC Convention Centre Winnipeg.

  • Sagkeeng Superstore is the winner of the Aboriginal Business Leadership Award.
  • Metis Economic Development Organization is the winner of the Excellence in Aboriginal Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Award.

Sagkeeng Superstore is a community-owned store that has been operating since 1990. The store recently expanded to include 8,000 square feet of new space and a Tim Horton’s franchise. This past year, the store’s annual sales have grown to over $5,000,000. It also demonstrates excellence in Aboriginal business leadership by supporting the community through a variety of programs donating to families, community events, and youth sport and recreation programs.

Donavan Fontaine, Chief of Sagkeeng First Nation, says, “Our new store’s ability to attract a high profile has helped create a climate of pride and accomplishment in our community. It took hard and persistent effort to make this happen, and I am sincerely thankful for our partners. There are never enough jobs in a small community such as ours. This new business has helped many, and it has had a major influence on our standard of living. This store is another step toward building a more vibrant community.”

The Metis Economic Development Organization (MEDO) is a business investment and management firm working with the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) to build greater financial self-sustainability for the MMF, and bolster its ability to serve the Metis Nation within Manitoba as the government of the Metis people. In 2012, MEDO launched MEDO Care Pharmacy to provide high quality pharmacy services to the Metis people of Manitoba, and to develop community ownership over their own health outcomes. A Metis Employment and Training initiative will encourage and recruit Metis youth to explore job opportunities in the health care industry.

“Our mandate to improve health outcomes for our Metis and First Nations communities in an economic development model is unique, and will have far-reaching benefits to the health care system as a whole,” says MEDO Chief Executive Officer Blake Russell. “There is an economic benefit to improved health, in that individuals will be less likely to draw upon public health supports and will be better able to maintain gainful employment over the long term.”

The Excellence in Aboriginal Business Leadership Award dinner is one of Manitoba’s most prestigious events for honouring Aboriginal business leaders. The stories behind their successes motivate and inspire students to pursue work in a wide variety of sectors, or establish businesses of their own. Proceeds from the event benefit commerce students in the ABEP (Aboriginal Business Education Partners) program at the University of Manitoba’s I.H. Asper School of Business. This year, ABEP celebrates twenty years of supporting Aboriginal students in pursuit of their Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree at the Asper School.


To purchase tickets to this event, call Silvia Castillo at 204.474.7401 or email abep [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.


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