Indigenous Ownership Takes Center Stage in Historic Hotel Deal
Thunder Bay – Business – In a momentous celebration of Indigenous business success, Naagaaniiyang Limited Partnership proudly marked its official acquisition of the iconic Victoria Inn in Thunder Bay. The momentous occasion was commemorated with a culturally significant ceremony, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and a gala dinner, hosted by the hotel’s new owners, signifying the historic nature of this business endeavour.
Empowering Indigenous Business
Naagaaniiyang Limited Partnership is a joint venture held by Michipicoten First Nation, Naicatchewenin First Nation, and Morris Group Canada. This partnership has now placed the Victoria Inn under majority Indigenous ownership, representing a significant step forward for First Nations involvement in the business landscape. This acquisition represents the largest investment to date for the two First Nations, collectively holding the majority of the hotel’s shares.
Chief Patricia Tangie, speaking on behalf of Michipicoten First Nation, expressed her pride in the innovative partnership and its potential to shape the future of the Victoria Inn. She stated, “We want to participate in business ventures that can build capacity for our community and move us closer to financial independence. The benefits of this acquisition will be felt in our First Nations and in the Thunder Bay economy for generations to come.”
A Shared Vision for Prosperity
The Naagaaniiyang Limited Partnership successfully completed the purchase of the Victoria Inn in April 2023, driven by a shared vision of enhancing economic growth and capacity-building for Indigenous businesses in northwestern Ontario. This partnership serves as a compelling example of First Nations and the private sector uniting for mutually advantageous opportunities.
Chief Wayne Smith of Naicatchewenin First Nation highlighted the collaborative approach, saying, “This business collaboration is a strength-based approach to bring prosperity to our First Nations, and at the same time, grow the Thunder Bay economy. Business development is a way to generate employment and wealth so that we can address the critical infrastructure and social conditions facing our communities, and, in turn, increase our self-sufficiency and wellness. Naicatchewenin First Nation looks forward to working on this joint investment with our partners, communities, and supporters.”
Dr. David Morris, Chairman of Morris Group Canada, emphasized the partnership’s commitment to meeting the needs of Thunder Bay and the surrounding communities. He stated, “The Victoria Inn will offer safe and culturally appropriate accommodation that is welcoming to people from Indigenous communities. Through this partnership with Michipicoten and Naicatchewenin, Morris Group Canada is pleased to be part of a business that will have such lasting economic, social, cultural, health, and wellness impacts for Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities.”
This historic acquisition of the Victoria Inn not only symbolizes the growing influence of Indigenous business but also underscores the commitment to fostering economic growth, cultural awareness, and community well-being in the Thunder Bay region.