Growing Economic Development Driving Our Sovereignty Forward

Tansi Kahkewistahaw Citizens,
I hope this newsletter finds you well and in good spirits during this difficult and unsettling time. As a member of Kahkewistahaw’s leadership council and your Chief, I am extremely proud of Kahkewistahaw and our ability to come together to respond to the needs of our citizens, no matter where we live. Our nationhood extends beyond our reserve boarders and the connections to our homelands remains strong.

Reflecting on the past few months, nationhood and sovereignty have certainly been common themes playing out in many First Nation communities across this country. It’s an extraordinary thing to see the level of support and kinship that our people have brought to the forefront of community action. When faced with challenges, the resilience and willingness to work together is a strength that keeps First Nations moving forward.

As many of you may have seen in the media, in partnership, Kahkewistahaw is moving forward with a couple of business ventures on our Saskatoon and Yorkton properties. Each property will be the future home for the Yorkton Tribal Council and the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations. These developments demonstrate an excellent new level of economic impact our Nation is achieving outside our reserve boundaries. Kahkewistahaw is quickly becoming a major contributor to the overall Saskatchewan economy while establishing our own economy. Each venture is welcomed by both the First Nations and the local municipalities, as we are all facing an economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 shut-down.

Kahkewistahaw is extremely fortunate to be a major player in these high-impact ventures. Recently, at the FSIN’s groundbreaking ceremony for their new office complex, I spoke about Economic Reconciliation. Economic Reconciliation is a term that describes a holistic, value-driven approach to FirstNation economic opportunities. Opportunities that are built on meaningful and mutually beneficial partnerships or allyships. First Nations are no longer sitting on the sidelines of economic success. First Nations are now an important channel that non-Indigenous business developers seek out, a valued resource necessary for a strong economy.

I believe our Kahkewistahaw Nation is making significant steps towards our own independence and relationship building. However, it takes a team of dedicated and capable people to make it happen. We are privileged to have a strong network of people working for KFN. Our Kahkewistahaw Economic Management Corporation’s Board of Directors and CEO have been integral to our
success. They have been advancing an economic strategy that is aligned to a collective vision shared with KFN citizens.

We are fortunate to have several trust funds that we must wisely manage and leverage investments towards our future. The trust has a direct correlation to our past because it represents a hardship that our ancestors endured. We owe it to our ancestors to utilize those funds for the benefit of our future generations. As the trustees carry out their fiduciary responsibilities, they do so with this connection in mind. We thank them for the good work they do on behalf of Kahkewistahaw’s citizens.

Surrounded by all the good people who work for KFN, I am reminded of a traditional teaching that guides the economic goal of our Nation – miyo-pimatisowin. It is the teaching of “living a good
life.” The way to economic success is to balance goals to this teaching. Economic success is not only about a monetary goal. It includes education and training, capacity building, effective management of our lands and assets, building quality homes, and increasing our community infrastructure. Economic success contributes to the enhancement and protection of our culture and language. Prosperity in these areas is the path to Economic Sovereignty. Its only through true sovereignty we will know the feeling of equality and self determination for our Nation. We have started this journey and we are well on our way.

As the seasons change, our education warriors, our students are returning to school and/or to their post-secondary institution. Let us be mindful, their realities may have changed, but not their dreams of miyo-pimatisowin. We need to do what we can to support their journey. For all of us, COVID has changed our foreseeable future. Let us also take this time to remember, to do your part to stay safe and healthy. Wash your hands, keep your distance, wear a mask when in public. Simple things that can make a difference for the health of your loved ones and for the protection of our community.

Enjoy the Autumn season and we will see you all soon on the trail,

Chief Evan B.G. Taypotat

Index of the remaining Articles in the Special Update

  • KEMC Presses Forward With Economic Development Opportunities during Covid-19
  • KFN Launches Mobile APP for Members
  • Get to Know Our KFN Staff, Businesses and Consultants
  • Community Safety Patrol Looking Out for Our Citizens
  • Construction Underway for New KFN Governance and Administration Centre
Read the September 2020 Special Update