Poplar Hill and Kashechewan First Nations announced April 30 that it’s entered into a “strategic business agreement” with North Star Air and its affiliate Cargo North.
The two remote communities join Muskrat Dam, Sachigo Lake, Cat Lake, Deer Lake, Neskantaga, North Caribou Lake and Bearskin Lake in a revenue sharing agreement with the Thunder Bay charter, freight and passenger air carrier.
The agreement is being framed as providing the communities with more competition among air transport providers, and also allowing them to participate in opportunities related to natural resource development, infrastructure, communication technologies, food and grocery, utilities, air cargo and business ownership.
The company services nine communities in their chain using modern twin-engine Basler BT-67 freight aircraft.
“It is a good move for Poplar Hill to be part of this economic initiative and establishing business agreements is key to enabling our vision of being self-sufficient,” said Poplar Hill Chief Alice Suggashie in a statement. “Providing an alternate air transportation services will prove to be beneficial for the community.”
“One of the community’s priorities is to seize opportunities to secure a brighter future for our people, our children and future generations, says Kashechewan Chief Derek Stephen. “The window of opportunity is shrinking as there is a limited number of communities that can participate in this venture with Cargo North and North Star Air and we did not want to miss out on such an opportunity so we decided that today was the right time to sign this agreement that will play a critical role in shaping our vision.”