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Indigenous business excellence celebrated in Northern Ontario

Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund Awards celebrates 30 years
Forestry company Ne-Daa-Kii-Me-Naan Inc. of Thunder Bay was one of six Indigenous businesses recognized during the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund Awards on Sept. 30.

The Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) recognized business excellence during the organization’s 30th annual awards ceremony on Sept. 30.

Canada’s longest running Indigenous awards program, the NADF Awards celebrate businesses and their owners’ exemplary achievements and their contributions to Northern Ontario’s economy.

To date, the organization has given out 181 awards.

“We want to recognize the men and women who demonstrate the vision, determination and innovative mindset that will inspire owners throughout the territory,” noted Arlene Meekis, board chair at NADF, during the virtual presentation.

“Treaty 9, Treaty 5, Treaty 3, Robinson-Superior 1850 –  these are the territories that NADF reaches out to and recognizes, so that we can actually look at them and just see what they've produced, what we've accomplished through business, and everything that we do for our economies in the North.”

This year, awards were bestowed on six recipients. They include: 

The NADF awards are not only a celebration of business excellence, but they’re also a fundraiser for two initiatives: the Dennis Franklin Cromarty Memorial Fund and the NADF Sponsorship Fund.

In recognition of the work of former Nishnawbe Aski Grand Chief Dennis Cromarty, the fund that bears his name supports First Nation students from Nishnawbe Aski Nation territory to help them achieve academic success.

The NADF Sponsorship Fund provides financial support in the form of sponsorships and donations to recipients in the 89 communities and members that NADF serves.

In operation since 1984, the NADF is a not-for-profit Indigenous financial institution offering Indigenous entrepreneurs, businesses and communities in Northern Ontario a range of services, including financing, business support, community planning, and workshops and bookkeeping training.