Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada

August 03, 2012 11:02 ET

Harper Government Investment in Whitecap Dakota First Nation Development Project Will Create Jobs, Economic Prosperity

WHITECAP DAKOTA FIRST NATION, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Aug. 3, 2012) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, and Whitecap Dakota First Nation Chief Darcy Bear announced today a Harper Government investment in the development of a hotel and spa to be located on the First Nation. The hotel will complement Whitecap Dakota's world-class golf course and casino and cement its position as a tourism destination in the province.

Once completed, the hotel will create 150 jobs in the community and create economic benefits for business in and around Whitecap Dakota. The First Nation expects that the project will turn its first profit by the end of its second full year of operation.

"Our Government's top priority is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said Minister Duncan. "Projects such as this lead to both. Just as important, they also show how forward-thinking, prudent investment and strategic long-term planning can benefit an entire First Nation community and attract private sector investment. We congratulate Whitecap Dakota for their initiative and their leadership."

"The Dakota Dunes hotel is an important phase in the development of a destination resort for the region," said Chief Bear. "It will provide economic benefits for the Whitecap community, the Lake Diefenbaker Tourism Destination Area, and the City of Saskatoon."

The Harper Government's $3 million investment, provided through the Aboriginal Business Development Program, will be part of a $26.5 million investment in the hotel-spa project, which is expected to get underway this fall and be completed by summer 2014. The First Nation has also secured private sector financing for the project.

"For more than 20 years, the BMO Aboriginal Banking Unit at BMO has partnered with Aboriginal communities and their leaders on important initiatives ranging from strengthening economic development and infrastructure, to encouraging the growth of Aboriginal business innovation and entrepreneurship," said Stephen Fay, National Director, Aboriginal Banking, BMO Bank of Montreal. "BMO is proud to be part of this initiative, which will create jobs and opportunity for members of the community, and we extend our heartfelt congratulations to community leaders for their successful efforts to bring this project to life."

The 161-room complex will be located in the same area as the First Nation's existing entertainment facilities, specifically the Dakota Dunes Golf Links and the Dakota Dunes Casino. In addition, the facility will include a pool, convention centre, restaurant and lounge, and fitness centre and spa. Whitecap Dakota First Nation has already invested $12 million in infrastructure upgrades to support on-reserve commercial developments.

The Harper Government is committed to unlocking the economic potential of First Nations, Métis and Inuit by creating conditions to accelerate economic development opportunities in order to build strong, sustainable, self-sufficient communities, create jobs and maximize benefits for all Canadians. In June 2009, the Harper Government released the, which represents a fundamental change to how the federal government supports Aboriginal economic development.

This release is also available on the Internet at www.aandc.gc.ca.

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Contact Information

  • Minister's Office
    Jan O'Driscoll
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable John Duncan
    819-997-0002

    Media Relations
    Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
    819-953-1160

    Whitecap Dakota First Nation
    Darrell Balkwill
    CEO
    Whitecap Development Corporation
    306-477-0908

    BMO Bank of Montreal
    Stephen Fay
    National Director
    Aboriginal Banking
    416-927-2675