The question arose: What can we do to take advantage of our location with all of the projects happening around us?
While the debate went on for a while as opportunities were explored, the one thing that seemed apparent to everyone was that a warehouse had a lot of potential. What other First Nation has highway frontage and the rail yards right in its own First Nation?
So the First Nation decided it was time to explore the option of a warehouse. Professor Emeritus Norman Bonsor and other consultants were engaged to look at the issues related to the development, construction and operation of a warehouse facility to be built at the junction of the tracks and the highway on First Nation lands.
Over the past two years, the First Nation has used a portion of its Strategic Partnership Initiatives (SPI) funding and its own resources to undertake a number of initiatives in support of this project. To date work has been completed on:
- Pre-feasibility Study;
- Discussions with Canadian National Railway about access and a spur line;
- Discussions with potential end users;
- Traditional Knowledge Assessment; and
- Site Engineering Analysis.
The results of the work to date appear to be favourable and the First Nation is further committed to doing additional work in 2013-2014 on a feasibility study to determine what type of facility should be constructed and how it should potentially operate.
Chief and Council see the warehouse as a real opportunity for the First Nation and we will continue to work with our consultants and the private sector to create a business that will be able to serve and meet the needs of our First Nation and the upcoming projects.