The Waubetek Business Development Corp. celebrated four Indigenous business leaders during its annual gala on Nov. 7 on the Rama First Nation.
This year’s winners include:
- Youth Entrepreneur of the Year: Kathryn Corbiere, owner of OneKwe metal fabrication (M’Chigeeng First Nation)
- Entrepreneur of the Year: Z’Gamok Enterprises Inc., community economic development corporation (Sagamok Anishnawbek First Nation)
- Business Merit Award: Mark Hamlin, RF Kiln Tech Ltd., a wood recovery business (Midland)
- Business Achievement Award: Ben Kanasawe, Buzwah Fisheries aquaculture (Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory)
The gala also featured Indigenous music artists, including Red Man Singers, Niibishens Trudeau, Chief Guy Monague, Chief Scott McLeod and The Lohrwoods.
This year also marks 30 years in operation for the Community Futures Development Corp.
Launched in 1989, Waubetek – which translates to “the future” from Ojibwe – provides business financing and economic development services to First Nations and Indigenous businesses across northeastern Ontario.
The organization has invested $94 million in financing to more than 3,000 Indigenous businesses since its inception.