The number of successful, thriving Indigenous businesses that got their start connected to the resource sector is growing at an exciting rate. In our work with Indigenous nations from coast to coast to coast, we have encountered many inspiring examples. Four of these dynamic businesses - along with a mining producer and the First Nation they have recently struck a novel agreement with - have agreed to share their stories this year in a session at the PDAC (Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada) Indigenous Program. Read all about the session here:
In the lead-up to the March 1-4th conference in Toronto, we are profiling each of these businesses in a blog series. Guest authors from each business have graciously shared their company stories. Today’s feature is Des Nedhe Development
Des Nedhe Development
Established by: English River First Nation
Guest Author/PDAC panelist: Jordan Baptiste, Director, Business Development
The Creation of Des Nedhe Development
Des Nedhe Development LP was established by English River First Nation in 1991. The term Des Nedhe comes from the Dene phrase “great river,” as the community is situated on the Churchill River 500 kms northwest of Saskatoon. The traditional territory is home to some of the highest grade uranium deposits in the world. Pro-development, for profit, for community and progressive in nature, the people of English River began their journey towards economic self-determination.
In the early 90s there was a movement toward engagement and sustainability in Northern Saskatchewan, one which would provide employment and procurement opportunities in English River’s Traditional Territory specific to Indigenous content. It spurred key interest in acquiring an Electrical and Instrumentation contractor, (which would become Tron Power), to develop a long-lasting basis for attracting, developing and retaining the talent of English River. Progressive Collaborative Agreements allowed for growth and skill development to create opportunity within the community to self-perform scopes of work close to home, evolving Tron Power into a well-rounded General Contractor - Tron Construction and Mining. Tron's evolution allowed Des Nedhe to become more active in the diversification of English River’s Economic Development portfolio.
Tron Construction and Mining is the heartbeat of English River’s economic development. Tron builds lasting relationships with resource developers in the area, co-creating sustainability and a bright future for the Northern Indigenous Peoples of Saskatchewan. Their desire is to diversify from their Traditional Territory to advance opportunity for English River members across the country and become a tier-1 business that happens to be Indigenous. Tron's strong history of safety and quality workmanship in the mining space has lead them to become a known presence nationally in Industrial Construction. English River is involved from the mining of uranium ore through to power generation from the finished product with the announcement in 2019 of their entrance to the nuclear power production space in Ontario.
Property and Land Development
Des Nedhe prides itself not only for its backbone in construction but its future in property and land development with over 130 acres of urban reserve situated on Saskatchewan’s most active highway, south of Saskatoon. Des Nedhe and English River intend on changing the way Indigenous urban reserves are viewed by developing cutting-edge, hi-tech commercial and industrial properties. Our retail division provides various opportunities for Indigenous Peoples through one of Saskatchewan’s busiest gas stations and convenience stores. Des Nedhe has situated gas and retail in the north supporting employment, development and service for English River within and close in proximity to our communities.
Recently Des Nedhe acquired Creative Fire, a marketing, communication and government relations firm, advancing the use of technology and defining a new space for development for future generations of the fastest growing demographic in the country. Creative Fire is forging paths for an inclusive future, leading industry strategy and engagement across the country. Adding professional services has rounded out a well diversified group of companies for English River.
Staying true to our values by sharing knowledge and creating development opportunity for Indigenous communities in which we operate. The entrepreneurial spirit of English River has guided the transformation and diversification of Des Nedhe and the group of companies over the last three decades. The company takes pride in its strong focus on growth through investment, experienced management and a history of delivering solid financial results.
Des Nedhe represents a humble yet progressive community exploring new opportunities across the country, in multiple sectors, and is positioned to play an important role in Canada’s economic future.
We look forward to the valuable contribution that Des Nedhe will bring to the discussion in March at PDAC.
#PDAC Blog Series: Sharing Business Success Stories
If you aren't coming to PDAC this year, never fear: In the lead-up to the March 1-4th conference, we are profiling each of these businesses in a blog series. Guest authors from each business have graciously shared their company stories.
Here's the full list of participants for the PDAC panel with links to their awesome businesses. Stay tuned for the next instalment!
- Jordan Baptiste, Director, Business Development
- Ginny Michano, President, Pawgwasheeng Economic Development Corporation
- Robert Starr, Business Project Manager, Supercom Industries
- Marsha Smoke, President, Moccasin Trails
- Alexandre Meterissian, Vice-President Government Affairs, Blackrock Metals
- Chief Curtis Bosum, Ouje-Bougoumou Cree Nation
- Facilitators: Laura Taylor, SVS and Harvey Sands, Richter
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About Us: Shared Value Solutions
We are an Canadian B Corp, and we assist Indigenous communities with support throughout regulatory processes surrounding major development projects like mines, hydroelectric facilities, transmission lines, highway expansions, oil and gas pipelines, natural resource transport applications and nuclear power.
We have deep context and experience behind the recommendations we provide, having worked for our clients on almost every major project in Canada over the last 10 years. For us, it’s all about building long-term relationships with our clients. We want to get to know you and what you want to do so we can help you move your plans forward.
- Reviews of Environmental Assessments and Environmental Impact Statements
- First Nation Land Code communities
- Indigenous Guardian programs
- Impact Benefit Agreements: technical and regulatory support for negotiations
- Indigenous Jurisdiction initiatives: joint management agreements and co-management agreements
- Community-based Indigenous environmental monitoring
- Indigenous Land Use Planning
- Participant funding negotiation and application support
- Multimedia Storytelling