The community of Mistawasis is taking economic development seriously.
In the last few years alone Misty Ventures, the business and economic development engine of the community, has acquired or created six companies.
On Dec. 21, the organization attracted more companies under their umbrella with the acquisition of shares in Xtreme Mining & Demolition Inc. A total of 13 companies came with the acquisition, bringing the community closer to achieving a lofty goal.
“Jobs; that’s something we’re big on. Unfortunately I don’t think any governing body or community can say they’ve got zero percent unemployment,” Robert Daniels the president and CEO of Misty Ventures said. “At the end of the day, we’ve done a very good job trying to get our band members employed.”
Daniels said he hopes the acquisition motivates other Indigenous communities around the topic of economic development. He said it’s not just about financials or profit margins, it’s about creating and maintaining positive relationships with each other to solve problems.
Misty Ventures trains not only Indigenous people, but also non-Indigenous people for work at their Iron Buffalo job training facility. Daniels said many members of the Mistawasis community are trained at the facility; some stay with Misty Ventures but others choose to work with different companies.
The recent acquisitions, he said, don’t mean Misty Ventures is slowing down anytime soon.
“We’ve got the accelerator going; we’re always open to discussions, because you just never know where they go,” Daniels said.
Xtreme Mining & Demolition Inc. was purchased in partnership with Hamilton Construction Corp. Two partners own 32 per cent of shares, while Misty Ventures purchased 20 per cent of shares. A private investor owns the remainder.
Daniels said Hamilton Construction Corp has many years of experience in the mining industry. Prior to the acquisition, Xtreme Mining & Demolition Inc., which was created in 1998 right here in Sask., was a successful company.
Hamilton Construction Corp.’s Chief Financial Officer Rylan Colwell said the joint acquisition sets a new precedent for Saskatchewan mining contractors.
“We believe this relationship is the first major mining contract to offer equal representation for both ownership share and management with a First Nation community,” Colwell said in a press statement.
Hamilton Construction Corp. employs between 200 and 350 employees between its mining, infrastructure and drilling divisions according to the release.
On Twitter: @BryanEneas
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