TORONTO, March 19, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Council for Aboriginal
Business (CCAB) and Sodexo Canada are pleased to announce the Membertou
Development Corporation as the inaugural winner of the Aboriginal
Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) Award for 2014.
Membertou is situated three kilometers from downtown Sydney, Nova Scotia
and is one of five Mi'kmaw communities in Cape Breton. The First Nation
has a population of over 1260.
The community of Membertou successfully overcame the significant
challenges facing an urban First Nation community. In a two-decade span
from 1995-2014, Membertou First Nation lifted itself from a community
with a high unemployment rate and low morale to a very strong community
within a community that has seen progress, economic growth and a
commitment to its culture and heritage.
The path to economic success was made possible through three strategic
Membertou actively forged a new economic frontier for its people, one
that built on the innovations of today while at the same time,
incorporated indigenous knowledge-based principles of conservation,
sustainability of resources and reverence for the land and the waters.
The Membertou Development Corporation increased its profile with major
private sector companies by launching the Membertou Corporate Office in
downtown Halifax in 2000 and forming lucrative partnerships across a
diversity of private industry sectors. It has since been able to
establish a strong corporate office within Membertou, which has allowed
them to bring the Halifax workers home.
Membertou initiated education and career training programs for its
residents in order to maximize employment opportunities within the
newly forged business partnerships and initiatives.
The opportunities flowing from these decisions continue to build
momentum for Membertou's financial independence and
"Congratulations to Membertou for such impressive economic stewardship,"
said CCAB President and CEO JP Gladu. "This new award will become the
barometer of Aboriginal business growth and success around the world.
After a hiatus of over 200 years, Aboriginal business is back and
growing through diversification and investment that encourages
entrepreneurial spirit and prosperity for all Canadians."
The CCAB would like to recognize and thank Sodexo Canada the founding
and exclusive sponsor for the Aboriginal Economic Development
Corporation (AEDC) of the Year Award.
Sodexo is proud to be celebrated as one of the top diversity employers
in Canada and a Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Gold Certified
company. Quality of Life is central to the performance and growth of
individuals and organizations. Working from this perspective, Sodexo
has redefined how to best serve its clients' complex needs. It is
dedicated to improving the quality of life for individuals and
organizations wherever they work.
"Sincere congratulations to the Membertou Development Corporation for
this honour," says Dean Johnson, President of Sodexo Canada. "When we
speak about quality of life we see this exciting new award as an
opportunity to celebrate the economic well-being and sustainability
that Aboriginal Development Corporations bring to their communities."
The Membertou Development Corporation was successful in diversifying its
economy, including becoming ISO 9001 certified and creating a
convention centre, gaming centre, business centre and many other
investments within the community. The most recent addition is the
Hampton Inn by Hilton Membertou, which opened in 2012.
Over the last ten years, under the leadership of Chief Terrance Paul,
the Membertou Band has gone from 37 employees on a $4 million budget
and a deficit of $1 million to a current 550 employees on a $112
million budget and zero deficit.
About the award
The AECD award is the first of its kind in Canada and is designed to
shine a light on the important role that Aboriginal corporations are
playing in boardrooms and First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities
across the country.
The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business' Aboriginal Economic
Development Corporation of the Year Award will be presented by Sodexo
at the Annual Calgary Gala on Tuesday May 13th at the Hyatt Regency.
About the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB):
CCAB is committed to the full participation of Aboriginal people in
Canada's economy. A national non-profit, non-partisan association, CCAB
offers knowledge, resources, and programs to both mainstream and
Aboriginal owned companies that foster economic opportunities for
Aboriginal people and businesses across Canada.
About Sodexo in Canada
Sodexo has been delivering On-Site Services in Canada for over 40 years.
Recognized as a strategic partner, Sodexo Canada has consolidated its
position by providing a range of Quality of Life Services for clients,
their employees and visitors in the corporate, education, healthcare
and remote sites segments. Delivering food and facilities management
services for over 200 clients, Sodexo is a market leader in Canada in
terms of revenue and consumers served, and has been recognized as a top
employer for the past four consecutive years. Sodexo Canada is proud
to have created the Sodexo Foundation, an independent charitable
organization that has donated more than 1 million meals to at risk
youth in Canada since it was founded in 2000.
SOURCE: Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business
For further information:
For more information on the CCAB's Annual Calgary Gala, please contact Maya Kwasnycia, Senior Manager, Sponsorship & Events, firstname.lastname@example.org or 416 961 8663 ext.224
Vice President, Communications, Sodexo Canada
Chris Allicock, Amberlight Productions
(416) 694-3131/ Cell (416) 319-8003