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Indigenous economic development gathering set for Thunder Bay

First-time event will be hosted by five northwestern Ont. tribal councils
The Victoria Inn will be the host site for Neeganii Iishawin. (Supplied)

A new Indigenous economic development conference and tradeshow involving five regional tribal councils in northwestern Ontario makes its debut next month in Thunder Bay.

The inaugural three-day gathering, running from Feb. 27 to 29, called Neeganii Iishawin, is being hosted by Windigo Community Development Corporation, Shibogama First Nations Council, Matawa First Nations, Keewaytinook Okimakanak and Independent First Nations Alliance, collectively representing more than 30 communities. 

Neeganii-Iishiwan (Nee-GAW-nee ISH-Shawn) means ‘to lead to the gathering place.’

The event takes place at the Victoria Inn Hotel & Conference Centre. There will be space for 40 exhibitors, with daily panels and keynotes, and a gala dinner. Sponsorship opportunities are available.

Emceeing the event is J.P. Gladu, a prominent Indigenous business leader and consultant who is a member of Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (Sand Point First Nation) on the eastern shore of Lake Nipigon.

In a news release, the event is being referred to as a “pivotal platform to deliver Indigenous capacity-building insight and developing opportunities in economic development” in the northwest and across Ontario.

The conference agenda isn’t yet available but topics will include infrastructure development, project planning, workforce training and development, and procurement readiness.

For event details go online to register at