Canada investing over $2.4 million in projects led by Indigenous communities and organizations across Northwestern Ontario

News release

The Government of Canada funding will help support growth in Indigenous communities across the region

September 26, 2023 – Thunder Bay, ON – Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario – FedNor

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor, today announced Government of Canada investments totalling $2,404,901 in support of six strategic initiatives led by Indigenous communities, businesses, and organizations in Northwestern Ontario.

These investments will support continued economic growth in Indigenous communities throughout Northwestern Ontario. These initiatives will help foster continued cooperation between First Nations organizations and communities and industrial corporations, and will enhance the ability of First Nations communities to benefit from business development within their traditional territories.

Specifically, the projects include the delivery of several critical plans, strategies and events, including conferences and public consultations, and the hiring of skilled professionals including economic development officers, project coordinators, and researchers and specialists.

For more detail on the projects being funded, please see the associated backgrounder.


“These are investments in Indigenous-led projects that will help grow our regional economy. They will create good paying jobs for Indigenous families here. This is what reconciliation is all about: giving back the tools to Indigenous communities so they can once again take a leadership role in their economy.”

-       The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor

“This project is an incredibly important piece in establishing good governance, and the Government of Canada is fostering real Indigenous-led engagement. This will give us the tools needed to build meaningful relationships between Indigenous communities and natural resource developers, and through this work we intend to make investment in the region easier and more attractive for all parties. FedNor’s support is greatly appreciated and is key to our vision of developing vibrant, self-reliant communities and to improving the quality of life for everyone within our region.”

-       Jake Dockstator, Executive Director, Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord

“Windigo Community Development Corporation has strived to develop partnerships with organizations like FedNor  for the betterment of our communities and to improve the quality of life for our members. The Government of Canada’s support is going to help us continue to capture revenue generation opportunities within our traditional territories, and to remain a key player in economic and community development in the North.”

-       Frank McKay, CEO, Windigo Community Development Corporation

“We work to provide sustainability and autonomy for our member communities, and investments from FedNor help us do exactly that. This funding is going to help build capacity and to enable our members to move forward with economic development projects and to act on the many opportunities available in our area.”

-       Mathew Hoppe, CEO, Independent First Nations Alliance

“Our community’s strategic economic development plan is set to help us make informed decisions that most benefit our community, and FedNor’s support will help us bring in a skilled professional to put those decisions in motion. Being a remote community only emphasizes our unique potential, and this investment is a significant step towards realizing our goals.”

-       Councillor Matthias Anderson, Kasabonika Lake First Nation

Quick facts

  • The Sioux Lookout Friendship Accord (SLFA) was founded in 2017 and is an agreement between Cat Lake First Nation, Lac Seul First Nation, Slate Falls First Nation, and Kichenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nation, as well as the Municipality of Sioux Lookout. SLFA works to foster the economic growth and prosperity of the signatory communities of the Accord and provide lasting opportunities for members.

  • The Windigo Community Development Corporation (WCDC) works to improve the overall quality of life of the Windigo First Nations through economic development and employment and training for WCDC community members.

    • WCDC shareholders include: Bearskin Lake First Nation, Cat Lake First Nation, North Caribou Lake First Nation, Sachigo Lake First Nation, and Slate Falls First Nation.
  • The Independent First Nations Alliance (IFNA) is a First Nations-led Tribal Council with the objective of providing customized support to the communities they serve. IFNA supports and works for the five communities of Whitesand First Nation, Lac Seul First Nation, Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug, Pikangikum First Nation and Muskrat Dam First Nation.

  • Kasabonika Lake First Nation is a remote Indigenous community located north of Sioux Lookout. It is part of the Shibogama First Nations Council and the Nishnawbe Aski Nation.

Related products

Associated links


Zeus Eden
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Patty Hajdu
Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor

Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario
Media Relations

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