Membertou's impressive economic stewardship clinches inaugural award celebrating Aboriginal economic development in Canada

Membertou's impressive economic stewardship clinches inaugural award 
celebrating Aboriginal economic development in Canada 
TORONTO, March 19, 2014 /CNW/ - The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business 
(CCAB) and Sodexo Canada are pleased to announce the Membertou Development 
Corporation as the inaugural winner of the Aboriginal Economic Development 
Corporation (AEDC) Award for 2014. 
Membertou is situated three kilometers from downtown Sydney, Nova Scotia and 
is one of five Mi'kmaw communities in Cape Breton. The First Nation has a 
population of over 1260. 
The community of Membertou successfully overcame the significant challenges 
facing an urban First Nation community. In a two-decade span from 1995-2014, 
Membertou First Nation lifted itself from a community with a high unemployment 
rate and low morale to a very strong community within a community that has 
seen progress, economic growth and a commitment to its culture and heritage. 
The path to economic success was made possible through three strategic 

      1. Membertou actively forged a new economic frontier for its people,
         one that built on the innovations of today while at the same time,
         incorporated indigenous knowledge-based principles of
         conservation, sustainability of resources and reverence for the
         land and the waters.
      2. The Membertou Development Corporation increased its profile with
         major private sector companies by launching the Membertou
         Corporate Office in downtown Halifax in 2000 and forming lucrative
         partnerships across a diversity of private industry sectors. It
         has since been able to establish a strong corporate office within
         Membertou, which has allowed them to bring the Halifax workers
      3. Membertou initiated education and career training programs for its
         residents in order to maximize employment opportunities within the
         newly forged business partnerships and initiatives.

The opportunities flowing from these decisions continue to build momentum for 
Membertou's financial independence and self-sustainability.

"Congratulations to Membertou for such impressive economic stewardship," said 
CCAB President and CEO JP Gladu. "This new award will become the barometer of 
Aboriginal business growth and success around the world. After a hiatus of 
over 200 years, Aboriginal business is back and growing through 
diversification and investment that encourages entrepreneurial spirit and 
prosperity for all Canadians."

The CCAB would like to recognize and thank Sodexo Canada the founding and 
exclusive sponsor for the Aboriginal Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) 
of the Year Award.

Sodexo is proud to be celebrated as one of the top diversity employers in 
Canada and a Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) Gold Certified company.  
Quality of Life is central to the performance and growth of individuals and 
organizations. Working from this perspective, Sodexo has redefined how to best 
serve its clients' complex needs. It is dedicated to improving the quality of 
life for individuals and organizations wherever they work.

"Sincere congratulations to the Membertou Development Corporation for this 
honour," says Dean Johnson, President of Sodexo Canada. "When we speak about 
quality of life we see this exciting new award as an opportunity to celebrate 
the economic well-being and sustainability that Aboriginal Development 
Corporations bring to their communities."

The Membertou Development Corporation was successful in diversifying its 
economy, including becoming ISO 9001 certified and creating a convention 
centre, gaming centre, business centre and many other investments within the 
community. The most recent addition is the Hampton Inn by Hilton Membertou, 
which opened in 2012.

Over the last ten years, under the leadership of Chief Terrance Paul, the 
Membertou Band has gone from 37 employees on a $4 million budget and a deficit 
of $1 million to a current 550 employees on a $112 million budget and zero 

About the award
The AECD award is the first of its kind in Canada and is designed to shine a 
light on the important role that Aboriginal corporations are playing in 
boardrooms and First Nation, Inuit and Métis communities across the country.

The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business' Aboriginal Economic Development 
Corporation of the Year Award will be presented by Sodexo at the Annual 
Calgary Gala on Tuesday May 13(th) at the Hyatt Regency.

About the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB):
CCAB is committed to the full participation of Aboriginal people in Canada's 
economy. A national non-profit, non-partisan association, CCAB offers 
knowledge, resources, and programs to both mainstream and Aboriginal owned 
companies that foster economic opportunities for Aboriginal people and 
businesses across Canada.

About Sodexo in Canada 
Sodexo has been delivering On-Site Services in Canada for over 40 years. 
Recognized as a strategic partner, Sodexo Canada has consolidated its position 
by providing a range of Quality of Life Services for clients, their employees 
and visitors in the corporate, education, healthcare and remote sites 
segments. Delivering food and facilities management services for over 200 
clients, Sodexo is a market leader in Canada in terms of revenue and consumers 
served, and has been recognized as a top employer for the past four 
consecutive years.  Sodexo Canada is proud to have created the Sodexo 
Foundation, an independent charitable organization that has donated more than 
1 million meals to at risk youth in Canada since it was founded in 2000.

SOURCE  Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business 
Event Inquiries: For more information on the CCAB's Annual Calgary Gala, 
please contact  Maya Kwasnycia, Senior Manager, Sponsorship & 
Events, or 416 961 8663 ext.224 
Media Inquiries: Katherine Power Vice President, Communications, Sodexo Canada 
Mob: 289-439-9170 
Chris Allicock, Amberlight Productions (416) 694-3131/ Cell (416) 319-8003 
To view this news release in HTML formatting, please use the following URL: 
CO: Sodexo Canada
ST: Ontario
-0- Mar/19/2014 13:30 GMT
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