LAC SEUL FIRST NATION – It is an investment in the future. Lac Seul First Nation (LSFN) is supporting the local economy by investing over $16 million of its own funds into infrastructure and economic development projects. These projects will help address the chronic unemployment that plagues the region by creating approximately one hundred long and short-term jobs, while bringing sustainable economic opportunities to the region.
Located approximately 40 kilometers northwest of Sioux Lookout, Lac Seul First Nation is centered amongst some of Canada’s richest natural resources and the region is quickly becoming a hub of economic activity focused on resource exploration and extraction. To realize its economic potential, LSFN has developed an infrastructure stimulus package that encourages investment, tourism and business development in the region.
LSFN’s self-funded stimulus package is comprised of several sizable projects, chief of which is an investment of over $6 million for urgent road infrastructure upgrades. Current road conditions are unsafe, resulting in the loss of tourism revenue and business opportunities while causing numerous accidents. This road is used daily by young students traveling to and from school, by elders traveling to appointments off-reserve, by ambulances transporting the sick and injured, and by local families and workers. LSFN’s $6 million investment will result in improved safety and enable increased tourism and economic development.
In the spirit of economic development, Lac Seul has made an $8 million investment to create a regional event and convention centre. With the continued prevalence of natural resource extraction and exploration, combined with increasing First Nation engagement of both public and private partners, a technologically advanced convention centre is in high demand. This centre has the potential to become an economic development hub bringing together organizations across Ontario and globally to debate and discuss in a professional environment. Ideally located, this centre increases accessibility to those communities located in the north-western areas of Ontario, who would otherwise be required to travel great distances and incur greater costs to access such a facility.
These are but two of many projects which LSFN is leading. Other projects planned include a commercial rice farm, an economic development centre, a training facility, a log manufacturing plant, a long-term care centre and a heritage centre. Over the past year, LSFN’s total investment into these projects exceeds the modest approximation of $16 million. During this time LSFN has offered the Federal and Provincial governments opportunities to participate in the development of these projects. LSFN continues to engage all levels of government and stresses the importance of supporting First Nation driven solutions that will create jobs, strong local economies, business partnerships, and safe communities.