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Indigenous economic development officer earns national nod

Jason Rasevych finalist for 2018 CANDO awards
Jason Rasevych_CANDO_10_25_18
Jason Rasevych was recognized by the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers during its annual conference Oct. 22-25. (Supplied photo)

Jason Rasevych has been recognized as one of the country’s top Indigenous economic development officers (EDOs).

Rasevych, a member of the Ginoogaming First Nation near Longlac, Ont., was named a finalist for the Economic Developer of the Year Award by the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO) during its 2018 conference and annual general meeting Oct. 22-25, in Enoch, Alta.

It’s one of four awards handed out annually by the national organization.

Rasevych has worked with various First Nations, government departments and community economic development corporations for more than 15 years.

The 35-year-old Thunder Bay resident has been an integral part of a $69-million project to bring internet access to five remote First Nations communities in Northern Ontario.

He also spearheaded the Agoke Lumber Limited Partnership, an initiative jointly owned by the Aroland, Eabametoong and Marten Falls First Nations, giving them management oversight and the right to the harvest timber from the Ogoki Forest.

The EDO’s additional accomplishments include training Indigenous tribes in Central and Latin America to engage with publicly traded companies, and leading a 20-year Indigenous tourism plan.

Rasevych said he’d like to see more First Nations businesses grow market share in the procurement and supply chain in Northern Ontario over the next five years.

“The playing field needs to be levelled; there needs to be more support, we need to stop lateral violence, (and) we need to lobby the economic buyers,” he said in a news release.

“We have big plans for 2019 and beyond. This is the beginning of a new chapter.”

CANDO is an Indigenous-controlled, non-profit society focused on the training, education and networking opportunities necessary for Indigenous EDOs to serve their communities and/or organizations as professionals.