FHQ Developments is a proudly owned First Nation economic opportunities and wealth creation corporation with 12 limited partners, including the eleven File Hill Qu’Appelle member First Nations along with the File Hills Qu’Appelle Tribal Council (FHQTC). Together our communities represent nearly 15,000 citizens, including nearly 10,000 members off reserve.
Throughout 2013-14, FHQ Developments has continued to pursue a number of strategic objectives related to business development, industry partnerships, labour market development and community economic development. In 2013-14, the Corporation received an unqualified audit of its financial statements for the fiscal year from the Virtus Group. Significantly, through our limited partnerships and business operations, FHQ Developments achieved an increase in partner equity of 14.4% year-over-year.
During the fiscal year the following key outcomes were achieved:
We conducted 24 community engagements and 14 community member consultations on various business ventures and strategic partnerships were conducted as a part of the Development Corporation’s community outreach with our eleven First Nation communities.
We continued to work in partnership with Employment and Social Development Canada and the FSIN to implement the Oil and Gas Partnership Program (i.e., the Hire First Nations initiative). In 2013-14, the partnership assessed and registered 719 clients and placed 150 clients in employment opportunities, including 45 clients with Points Athabasca FHQ Contracting. The funding agreement for this partnership expired on September 30, 2014. FHQ Developments is now working to leverage new sources of funding to support the Corporation’s labour market services model.
We continued to pursue a number of business development partnerships with a wide range of potential partners. Our investments in limited partnerships with SHP 6 Home Inn and Suites in Swift Current, Points Athabasca FHQ Contracting, and CanElson Drilling continue to generate equity interest and employment opportunities for the Corporation and its shareholders.
We partnered with the First Nation Power Authority and Lockheed Martin to pilot a solar demonstration project in Swift Current. The intent of the project is to demonstrate how solar energy can reduce fossil fuel consumption in remote fuel dependent communities. The long term objectives of this research partnership are to explore the manufacturing and assembly opportunities for this type of a renewable energy system, and to provide evidence-based research and data collection opportunities for power generators and distributers such as SaskPower.
We partnered with the Western Canadian Agribition and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) to host an Aboriginal pavilion and an Indigenous Agricultural Summit at the event. This summit provides a key opportunity to profile the economic development and business interests of FHQTC member First Nations in the agricultural sector.
Four additional business partnerships were entered into during the year:
Infinity Development Corporation Eastern Region II to jointly pursue business partnerships that are mutually beneficial.
Infinity Development Corporation and Domcor Health, Safety & Security Inc. who provide a full suite of training and protective services to broad range of industry sectors, including: Construction Safety Officers; Traffic Control; Security Officers; Drug Testing; Shut Down Services; Transportation and Shuttle Services; Confined Space Rescue Awareness / Operations, Training, and First Aid.
Sodexo Canada to jointly pursue a range of ‘On-Site Service Solutions’ that extend beyond traditional catering, hospitality, and laundry service offerings.
CMS Mechanical Services to pursue custom metal fabrication and other mechanical service projects. FHQ Mechanical Services was formally registered and final agreements to operationalize the partnership were in final stages at year-end.
FHQ Developments also continued to advance a range of business and market research including tourism initiatives related to the Calling Lakes Planning Commission and Kinookimaw Beach, as well as a business plan to explore expanding the scope of services delivered by the All Nations Healing Hospital in Fort Qu’Appelle.
In 2014-15 we will be pursuing the development of a certified corporate governance training program in partnership with Brown Governance and the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Regina. We will also continue to pursue sector-based interests in labour market services, natural resource development, construction, procurement, environmental and technical services, and tourism. We look forward to new growth opportunities in 2014-15 and to strengthening and expanding our existing partnerships.
We owe a great deal of gratitude to our Board of Directors, management and staff for their ongoing commitment to the success of our Corporation, and I am personally grateful for their dedication to creating economic opportunities for our communities and their citizens.
Respectfully, Edmund Bellegarde, President & Chair of the Board