Category: Social innovation

The Nova Scotia First Nations of Membertou and Eskasoni have implemented some impressive economic milestones in recent years, including a major involvement in the Sydney Tar Ponds cleanup and the development of the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. Now a new partnership forged between the two communities promises to take those accomplishments to the next level. 

Last year First Nations chiefs from Membertou and Eskasoni signed an agreement to create Memski Projects Inc., a strategic partnership that will pool resources and provide prospective clients with one-stop access to the collective skills, labour, and expertise contained within those communities. The partnership came about as the result of a recognition that both Membertou and Eskasoni have more economic clout when they work together to provide services to big industry. 

With new opportunities such as the Maritime Link and Irving Shipbuilding projects about to ramp up, it’s particularly timely. Memski Projects Inc. will be able to respond quickly to the workforce needs of those projects, identify opportunities, and match the two First Nations’ experienced labour forces with employers. 

Memski will also open opportunities for First Nations-owned service businesses to market to major projects. The partnership is mandated to lead discussions with potential partners on joint ventures, subcontracts, and other contractual arrangements, as well as provide support to finalize agreements. At the same time it will share information, raise the profile of the Membertou and Eskasoni labour force and service businesses, and promote the benefits of working with aboriginal communities.

Memski Projects Inc. is a model for strategic partnering and engaging an aboriginal workforce to industry. Through the partnership, both communities are expanding their interactive database and positioning themselves to pursue the demands and opportunities of future industry in Atlantic Canada.


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