First Nations and private sector establish strategic partnership



    Guswhenta Developments and King & Benton will focus on infrastructure &
    housing across Canada

    BRANTFORD, ON, June 5 /CNW/ - Guswhenta Developments of Six Nations is
pleased to announce it is teaming with Brantford-based King & Benton to
jointly develop First Nation infrastructure and housing projects.
    Co-Directors Brian Porter and Steve Charest say the new alliance is the
natural next step to furthering their working relationship, which has spanned
more than five years. "Steve and I have worked together on a number of
projects over the years and it is evident that we share many values and enjoy
complementary skill sets," says Porter. "Guswhenta Developments brings a
familiarity with First Nations, their programs and support agencies, and King
& Benton has developed an extensive rapport with industry, financiers and all
levels of government. Our combined forces will put us in a unique position to
advance projects."
    Charest says the focus of the new company will continue to be First
Nation infrastructure and housing projects. "I see so much potential on
reserves all across Canada and the United States while, in many cases, the
living conditions are sub-standard. Whether we take an equity position in a
project or assume the role of a project manager, Guswhenta is committed to
helping these communities on a project-by-project basis to develop
infrastructure that is sustainable, profitable and consistent with their long
term goals and aspirations."
    The partners are in the process of finalizing the corporate structure of
the new alliance, which will take the form of a specialized limited
partnership. "Partnerships between mainstream and aboriginal companies do not
come easy," says Porter. "We are confident that we have the right structure so
both parties have clearly established areas or responsibility and that my
sovereignty as a Six Nations member remains intact."
    The two parties have already identified several opportunities that they
intend to pursue. "Northern Ontario offers many potential sites for
hydroelectric projects and associated transmission line upgrades," says
Charest. "These can replace 'on reserve' diesel generators that pollute, are
extremely expensive to operate and require tedious maintenance. There are also
many First Nations blessed with favourable conditions for windmill
installations. We want to explore the possibility of uniting aboriginal
investors with these projects so that all First Nations could benefit."
    Porter says housing also represents a tremendous opportunity for
Guswhenta to contribute its expertise. "Six Nations has 23,000 members, but
only 13,000 of whom live on reserve," says Porter. "That would be much higher
if there was more housing. We currently have a zero vacancy rate, with more
than 600 people on a waiting list for suitable accommodations. Some people are
paying "$600 - 700 a month for a two bedroom trailer with no running water."
    Porter says he is confident that the new alliance will prove its worth
based on its performance. "At the moment, we have several projects that we
believe can benefit everyone in a manner that is respectful to the
environment," says Porter. "Over the next few weeks, we very much look forward
to engaging the community in the development process. This will provide the
awareness and support needed to make them a reality. Both Steve and I agree
that once one project is completed that has merit and compensates all parties
in an equitable manner, others will follow. We would very much like to be a
part of this first success story."

    About Guswhenta Developments

    Guswhenta Developments is a 100 per cent aboriginal owned company. Formed
in 2000, the mandate of the firm is to identify and facilitate development
opportunities for First Nation groups with an emphasis on housing.

    About King and Benton

    King and Benton Developments is a Canadian-owned, Brantford-based real
estate company dedicated to making the Brant County area the next centre of
business in Southern Ontario. With more than 1 million square feet of
industrial real estate, 275 hectares (709 acres) of serviced and unserviced
industrial land, and over 150 acres of land and 700,000 square feet under
redevelopment, King & Benton specializes in redevelopments which requires the
remediation of environmentally impacted properties in Ontario. King and Benton
offers outstanding development opportunities to existing and potential
partners.





For further information:

For further information: Brian Porter, Guswhenta Developments, (519)
445-2137; Steve Charest, King & Benton, (519) 752-2714

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King and Benton Developments

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