The vision for business development is to diversify, develop new skills and advance toward economic self-reliance. The Treaty Land Entitlement (TLE) [link to 2.5 TLE Trust] process was the means to develop the urban reserve in Saskatoon. It was also the means to create the economic environment needed to create jobs and business investment opportunities for Muskeg Lake Cree Nation.
The process meant breaking new ground in the development of an urban reserve in a major centre. After a series of complex negotiations with three levels of government, an agreement, Asimakaniseekan Askiy, was reached and signed on October 1, 1988. In 1993, with the opening of 52,000-sq. ft. McKnight Commercial Centre, our vision was becoming a reality.
Jobs were created with the construction phase, a new source of revenue was maintained with the leasing of space, and new skills were developed in the property development & the Management field. Since 1993, we have witnessed several commercial developments that involved Muskeg Lake Cree Nation’s participation. These partnerships have brought many benefits to our community and to the community of Saskatoon by providing economic spin-offs, including a tax base with each development. These benefits will continue to grow economically, politically and socially with the creation of further urban reserves in Canada for the benefit of all First Nations.
With the creation of the urban reserve, we have been successful in creating several enterprises and partnerships that have provided MLCN with additional resources that have been committed to our community to enhance program and services. Businesses include:
- Muskeg Property Management Inc.
- CreeWay Gas Ltd.
- CreeWay Gas West Ltd.
- Creek Investments
- Jackpine Holdings Ltd.
- Dakota Dunes Golf Links LP
- STC Inc.
With 15 acres of undeveloped urban reserve land we continue to look for opportunities to create partnerships in the development of the property.
Business Grant Program
The Business Grant Program is a start-up program, funded by Muskeg Lake’s business profits, for entrepreneurs to set up and run their own businesses.