Encouraging Indigenous Business Growth

With funding from the Alberta government, the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation has built a new laundry service to support local industry.

L-R: Aaron Cardinal, Minister Feehan, Jane Stroud, councillor, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Erica Janvier, Chief Vern Janvier, Channing Napoose, Autumn Marcel and Marcel Janvier, councillor, Chipewyan Prairie First Nation.


With a large amount of oilfield activity in the region, the Nation saw an opportunity to grow their economy by constructing an eco-friendly commercial laundry facility. They applied for support from Alberta’s Aboriginal Business Investment Fund and received $492,000 for the project.

“Alberta is proud to support this business venture. It creates a new revenue stream for the Chipewyan Prairie First Nation that can be used to reinvest in important community services and employment and training opportunities for community members. First Nation businesses contribute to healthier local economies by promoting growth and prosperity that makes life better for all Albertans.”

~Richard Feehan, Minister of Indigenous Relations

“This new business has allowed us the opportunity to provide sustainable employment for a few of our members. With employment like this, our people can establish long-term plans and goals, just like other Albertans.”

~Vern Janvier, Chief, Chipewyan Prairie First Nation

As a direct result of the establishment of this facility, a local entrepreneur created a new business providing the laundry with water and wastewater disposal services, helping to stimulate the local economy.

Quick facts

  • Number of jobs during construction: 20
  • Number of permanent full-time jobs: 8
  • Number of spin-off businesses created: 1

Established in 2015-16, the Aboriginal Business Investment Fund has provided $15 million to 24 Indigenous community-owned businesses in a variety of sectors to promote growth and jobs. Sectors include finance, construction and maintenance, forestry, the service industry, tourism and communications.