November 12, 2015 - 9:19 AM
PENTICTON - The wave of economic progress taking hold at the Penticton Indian Band has caught the attention of national business leaders and other First Nations across Canada.
The Band’s development corporation has been named Economic Developer of the Year by the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO) at their 22nd Annual National Conference held recently in Toronto.
"We’re very honoured to receive this award. It’s a huge boost of confidence for our community and confirmation that we’re moving in the right direction," said Chief Kruger.
This is the second major national award this year for the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation, having won the 2015 Aboriginal Economic Development Corporation Award from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
“I am so proud of our community, giving us the mandate to move forward with economic development projects that give people a chance for a more prosperous future,” said Chief Kruger.
The Penticton Indian Band, with the largest reserve lands in British Columbia, is moving forward on multiple fronts to strengthen the community’s economy and culture. Within the past three years, the band has opened a new $10-million community school, opened a state-of-the-art community health centre powered by geothermal energy, and built the Satikw Crossing bridge spanning the Okanagan River Channel. That $7.4 million project will open up 150 acres (60 hectares) of prime development land along Highway 97 in the heart of Penticton.
Other community-owned business managed by PIBDC are also firing on all cylinders, generating strong employment and revenue growth. The Skaha Hills development sold out its first phase in just a few months this summer, moving up the timing for Phase 2 and 3. The resort-residential development overlooking Skaha Lake will eventually see 600 homes, a winery, golf course, plus walking and cycling trails slated for the prime 550-acre site.
Westhills Aggregates has prospered to become the largest sand aggregate producing and trucking company in the Okanagan with 25 employees. Award-winning tourism venture Coyote Cruises and the band’s Snpink’tn Forestry are also contributing to economic opportunities and jobs for the Penticton Band and surrounding region.
“We have a long-term economic strategy to drive growth not only for our community, but for the City of Penticton and the entire region,” said Chief Kruger. “It’s an exciting time. Success breeds success when we move forward together.”
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015