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MATAWA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND MOU PARTNERS MEET TO ADDRESS COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMIC GROWTH OPPORTUNITIES

MEDIA RELEASE

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 13, 2022 | FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MATAWA DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION AND MOU PARTNERS MEET TO ADDRESS COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

THUNDER BAY, ON: The Matawa Development Corporation (MDC) formally reconvened its work with MOU partners today in a full-day Meet and Greet event in Thunder Bay focusing on economy and wealth creation. The event saw presentations from the MDC board of directors, leadership from the Matawa First Nations and MOU partners. It included a presentation from Enterprise Canada’s Lloyd Girman on “Progress Made Thus Far and the Way Forward.”

MDC, wholly owned by Matawa First Nations member communities, has decision-making power on what is built, when and how in Matawa communities and the surrounding region. “This is a positive step forward in building a strong economy for Matawa First Nations and the Matawa Development Corporation guided by our united vision to be self-sufficient, self-governing peoples living within a healthy, thriving culture,” said MDC President and Long Lake #58 First Nation Chief Judy Desmoulin.

MDC is working with four national companies with proven infrastructure development experience and communications expertise – Enterprise Canada, a national strategic communications and public affairs firm; EPCOR Canada, a company that builds, owns and operates electricity, natural gas and water products and services in Canada and the United States; Ontario Power Generation, the largest electricity generator in the province and PCL Construction, a group of independent construction companies that carries out work across Canada, the United States, the Caribbean, and in Australia. “We are taking charge of our economic future, embarking on real partnerships that will allow us to do it in a different way—our younger generations need us to develop different models so that they can have hope for a healthy, productive lives and have safe communities,” said MDC President Judy Desmoulin.

Under the direction of member communities, MDC will work with these companies to determine priority projects, how best to meet the infrastructure needs in Matawa communities and oversee construction and financing of infrastructure across the region. Clean water, housing, roads and other crucial community infrastructure to improve the lives of generations of First Nations people in Northern Ontario have already been identified.

“We are well-positioned over the coming period to determine our infrastructure and economic development opportunities with these companies, to direct and build critical infrastructure projects in the Matawa region, with our communities leading development,” said Desmoulin. “This is a collaborative effort to solidify new paths forward in developing community-based infrastructure projects within and beyond the traditional lands of the Matawa-member First Nations.” At their 33rd annual general meeting last fall, Matawa leadership discussed these paths and hopes for the future including managing our own economies through increasing equity partnerships which will build wealth creation.

The establishment of the MDC is the result of a Memorandum of Understanding with Matawa First Nations Chiefs and all four companies announced in March 2020 just prior to the global pandemic.

 

ADDITIONAL QUOTES

“We are proud to be working with Matawa Development Corporation to explore Indigenous owned and led projects that bring direct benefits to local communities. This approach keeps Matawa-member First Nations as active leaders and equal partners driving economic growth and crucial infrastructure development within their communities.” — Barbara Fox, CEO, Enterprise Canada

“We are pleased to be working with Matawa Development Corporation to explore the future of water and wastewater projects for the region and Matawa First Nations communities. This strategic partnership will facilitate the provision of clean drinking water and environmentally sustainable sanitation infrastructure across the Matawa communities. Together, we can help achieve the vision of economic development, health and ecological balance for the Matawa region.” — John Elford, Senior Vice President Commercial Services, EPCOR Utilities Inc.

“Discussions with Matawa Development Corporation, with communities leading the way, are a critical step in exploring innovative, energy-based solutions in their region. This collaborative partnership guided by the Matawa Development Corporation, will support the understanding of the energy needs in communities now and in the future, and determine how best to meet them.” — Heather Ferguson, SVP Business Development, Strategy and Corporate Affairs, Ontario Power Generation

“PCL is proud to work with Matawa Development Corporation and its partners to identify and collaborate on economic development opportunities and crucial infrastructure projects at the direction of communities. PCL has a strong commitment to clients and partners who drive innovation, and we look forward to supporting Matawa’s vision and goals.” — Kelly Wallace, Vice President and District Manager, PCL Construction

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For more information, please contact: Carol Audet, Matawa Communications Manager at: caudet@matawa.on.ca or 1-807-632-9663.

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