(Originally published in the May 2012 issue of the Nova Scotia Business Journal - "Aboriginal Awareness Week" special advertising feature)
APC Secretariat initiatives receive funding boost: On February 22, Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie, announced a Government of Canada investment of more than $670,000 to renew two initiatives that support Aboriginal economic development in Atlantic Canada. The funding will be used to support the Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program and the Professional Development Training initiative for Aboriginal Economic Development Officers. Both initiatives are administered by the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat. “This investment will assist in providing our region’s First Nations with the knowledge, tools and resources they need to secure a brighter, more prosperous future for their people and their communities,” said Minister Valcourt. The Government of Canada is contributing $672,249 in 2011-2012 to support the two initiatives. ACOA is investing a total of $206,203, while Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada is contributing an additional $441,046. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Province of Nova Scotia are each investing a further $25,000 in the Atlantic Aboriginal Economic Development Integrated Research Program.
Province invests in training for Mi'kmaq: Mi'kmaq in Cape Breton and eastern Nova Scotia will now have access to skills and job-readiness training to prepare for positions opening up across the province involving the federal shipbuilding contract, Port of Sydney development, and more. Premier Darrell Dexter was in Membertou First Nation on March 5 to announce $640,000 over two years for the Unama'ki Economic Benefits Office. The funding from the Department of Labour and Advanced Education will help provide trade and industry specific training for about 400 people and lead to employment for about 200 Mi'kmaq in seven First Nations communities: Membertou, Eskasoni, Wagmatcook, Waycobah, Chapel Island (Potlotek), Paq'tnkek and Pictou Landing.
Hampton Inn Sydney opens for business in Membertou: Gerry and Doreen Cooper of Red Deer, Alta., didn’t lack for customer service when they arrived at the Hampton Inn Sydney on April 18 to register as the new hotel’s first guests. Looking on with interest during the official opening of the $20-million hotel were owner Danny Murphy of Charlottetown, P.E.I., Membertou Chief Terry Paul and hotel manager Jeff Boudreau. The hotel, a partnership between Membertou and D.P. Murphy Hotels and Resorts, has 128 guest rooms, a fitness centre, a pool and pedway linking it to a nearby convention centre. Five luxury suites are another big draw for the area’s newest hotel. “The opening of this hotel means a lot to Membertou,” said Paul. “We will be working together with the trade and convention centre as partners. When the pedway is completed it will be very convenient, and people will appreciate that.” Hampton is part of the Hilton chain and franchise owner Murphy is pleased to be bringing the Hampton brand to Membertou. “We’ve partnered up with Membertou, and they’ve been great to work with,” he said. — By The Cape Breton Post, TC Media
*Read more "Aboriginal Awareness Week" stories at: http://www.ns.dailybusinessbuzz.ca/Industry-Spotlight/Aboriginal-Awareness-Week-23616