Individual EDO Category
2016 Individual Economic Developer of the Year Award Winner
Rob Crow, Blood Tribe Economic Development, AB
As a member of the Blood Tribe located in Southern Alberta, Rob Crow currently is the Director of Economic Development for the Blood Tribe and has been employed by them for over 19 years. Well-educated with a Bachelor of Management Degree as well as a Masters of Science in Management, Rob is a role model in his community and has completed outstanding work.
Rob has served on several Provincial and National boards including Cando (Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers) for 3 consecutive terms and most recently as the co-chair of AANDC (Aboriginal Affairs & Northern Development Canada). He also received his Professional Aboriginal Economic Developer (PAED) certification in 2007 from Cando.
Currently, Rob’s major projects have been the Blood Tribe Land Designation referendum along with the Kanai Marketplace Grocery Store. As the lead on these projects, he took care of strategic planning, leakage studies, feasibility studies and successfully received buy-in from the Blood Tribe community to get these projects into motion.
The Kanai Marketplace Grocery store is a new, 12,000 square foot, multi-million dollar commercial project on the Blood Reserve. It just recently opened in Fall 2016 and aims to bring affordable, fresh, healthy food products to on-reserve residents. The store is supplied by The Grocery People, the same supplier of Coop grocery stores in southern Alberta.
Kanai Marketplace was built with the help of local construction workers and will employ 20 people, generating income, creating employment opportunities and training, and improving the standard of living for community members of the Blood Tribe.
Although Rob faced some funding issues with the project, his wisdom and diplomacy served him well and he was able to keep the project on track. Kanai Marketplace will service the largest land base reserve in Canada as well as the on-reserve population of 10,000 plus residents. The Blood Tribe are neighbours with the Piikani First Nation and the Townships of Fort Macleod, Cardston and Magrath. This marketplace is closer to these communities than the closest city of Lethbridge, Alberta, and will be of great use to these surrounding nations.
Rob Crow is a deserving individual and has demonstrated his passion for economic development and Indigenous lands management. Rob is an asset to his community and without him, his team and the hard work they do, the Kanai Marketplace simply would not exist.
2015 Individual Economic Developer of the Year Recognition Recipient
Richard Sidney, Teslin Tlingit Council, YT
Ha Kus Teyea, meaning “Our Way”, is a principle that defines the Teslin Tlingit. It is the collective and shared understanding of who they are as a culture: their knowledge, language, art, history and relationship to their environment.
Richard Sidney, a valued citizen of of Teslin, Yukon Territory, has never lost touch with his traditional ways and continues to learn and embrace his culture, keeping Ha Kus Teyea in mind in everything he does. Raised in a traditional household, Sidney has always led with the traditional ways instilled in him by his late father.
Sidney has had an array of accomplishments over his career. From his role as the Assistant General Manager for the Yukon Indian Development Corporation in 1981, to the Chief of the Teslin Tlingit Council in 1984, to Vice Chair of the Council of Yukon Indians in 1986, to more recently President of Tie’Nax’T’awei Group in 2001, and currently holds his position as Chief of the Teslin Tlingit Council.
Richard Sidney is an expert in Land Claims and has over 20 years of negotiation experience. One of his most memorable negotiations was when he represented the Taku River Tlingits (TRT) in negotiations with the British Columbia provincial government. He also negotiated an impact benefit agreement, which addressed measures to mitigate the effects of mining projects on the environment within traditional territory.
Sidney’s focus on community capacity development resulted in increasing staffing on Teslin First Nation from 17 employees to 88 in 1996. This was a major accomplishment during his time as Chief of Teslin First Nation, along with helping to remove the Indian Act into self-government. During his time in leadership, he led the formation of a development corporation with a multitude of investments, brought in the Administration Act and Wildlife Act and assisted in negotiations for trans-boundary claims with the government of BC.
Sidney is known for his kind, generous spirit and his passion for helping First Nations build capacity. His successes are founded on commitment, focus, teamwork and hard work along with his never-ending patience. He is dedicated and never loses focus on his vision. He is a strong mentor within the community and recognizes the importance of developing a strong team. His greatest investment is in his people.
Although Sidney has faced challenges over his career, he is always the first to find the good in situations and focus on alternate business arms that will provide employment and growth opportunities for his community.