SMEDCO wins Indigenous Community Economic Developer of the Year
- EFN Staff | July 08, 2021
The Saskatchewan Indigenous Economic Development Network announced its 4th annual economic development awards on May 10th, which had been proclaimed as Saskatchewan Indigenous Economic Development Day.
This year’s community economic developer of the year award was the SaskMétis Economic Development Corporation (SMEDCO). Established in 1987, SMEDCO has helped 1,000 businesses in Saskatchewan. They provide financial incentives for Métis-controlled small businesses so that they may start up, acquire, and expand their operations. During the pandemic, SMEDCO and its 8 staff worked to provide relief funding of over $10 million to Métis businesses.
This year's individual developer of the year was awarded to Matt Vermette. Matt is the CEO of 100% Métis-owned Northern Research Group Inc., where he provides exceptional services to his clients and has helped many Métis, northern and Indigenous business grow stronger.
“It’s such an unexpected honour to receive an award for something that I love doing. I wake up bright and early everyday eager to work with Indigenous communities and entrepreneurs and support them in reaching their business and economic development goals,” said Vermette.
The awards were established in 2017 to help recognize the leaders pushing Indigenous economic and business development in Saskatchewan to new levels. An arms-length adjudication committee evaluates submitted nominations to determine a winner.
“We have so many people working to create a better future for First Nations and Métis peoples. These awards help recognize the importance of economic development to rebuilding strong and prosperous communities”, said Milton Tootoosis, Chair of the board of the Saskatchewan Indigenous Economic Development Network.