Cando's Newsfeed
The latest Cando news...

The latest issue of Cando Connect magazine

May / June 2019 - read with

Cando Connect cover May-June 2019
Inside Connect:

Economic Developers Alberta Conference

Indigenous Procurement Opportunities with the Federal Government Event

Creating Successful Indigenous Engagement Opportunities

Mineral Outlook Dialogue:
The Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan

CEDI Partnership Graduations:

Enoch Cree Nation and City of Edmonton

Paqtnkek and County of Antigonish



Get Certified! Cando Member Profiles:
Milton Tootoosis and James Stevens

Click here or on image to download the latest edition in PDF file format.

Click here to read this issue online via reader.



Renew your Cando membership and win!

Membership Draw 2019

Get more information on Cando membership here!


Resource site provides A to Z details of starting and running a co-op

By Sam Laskaris
Cando Contributor

Dan Mathews

Starting up a co-op can be a rather onerous challenge.

But a resource site titled Co-op Creator, which was launched earlier this year, is helping make that task a little bit easier.

Dan Matthews, Manager of Strategy and Communications for Co-operatives First

The site, which can be accessed for free at, is managed and maintained by officials from Co-operatives First, a Saskatoon-based organization whose mandate includes to help Indigenous and rural communities prosper.

“In the co-op sector there’s nothing out there like it,” Dan Matthews, the manager of strategy and communications for Co-operatives First said of the Co-op Creator site. “It’s definitely unique.”

The site includes information on whether the co-op model is the best route to take, incorporating, business planning and financing.

“We wanted to have from A to Z how to start and get a co-op up and running,” Matthews said. “That was the driving force behind this.”

Thus far there have been glowing reviews about the site.

“There’s been really a very positive response from the co-op sector and those that have been using it,” Matthews said.

Co-operatives First officials are also pleased with the number of individuals who are accessing their site.

“We probably have 20 users a day,” Matthews said. “It’s a pretty niche thing. Having 20 (visitors) a day is pretty good for now.”

Though there is tons of information available on the site covering various topics, Matthews himself finds a particular resource extremely useful.

Read more: news/co-operatives-first-co-op-creator


Pelican Narros Co-ops First

Co-operatives First representatives are available to meet with those considering the co-op model such as at this community engagement event in Pelican Narrows, Sask.

Western Canadian organization promotes and supports co-op business development

By Sam Laskaris
Contributing Writer

As its name suggests, Co-operatives First continues to be a rather co-operative organization.

The Saskatoon-based organization, now in its third year of existence, provides information for all those who are considering the co-op model.

“A large part of our mandate is education and support,” said Dan Matthews, who is Co-operatives First’s manager of strategy and communications.

The organization’s priority is to increase economic development through promoting and supporting co-op business development in Indigenous communities and rural areas across the country’s four western provinces; British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

But Co-operatives First’s online resources and services are available to those in other parts of the country.

Co-operatives First is funded by the Co-operative Retailing System and Federated Co-operatives Limited.

Co-operatives First works in partnership with various businesses and organizations that are starting up. While officials from these businesses and groups generally have a good grasp of how things work, Co-operatives First representatives are available to provide guidance and various resource tools to assist with any start-up decisions.

Co-operatives First can also provide a relationship manager to focus solely on a group or business that explores the co-op model. After all, starting up a co-op can be an arduous challenge with some confusing processes, which can obviously be made easier with the assistance of those in the know.

Co-operatives First employees are also available to assist with feasibility studies and business plans.

Read more: news/co-operatives-first-supports-business-development


Cando releases 2018 Conference videos...

 25th Anniversary Conference Hi-Lights Video:

Economic Developer of the Year Awards Video:


National Youth Panel Video:


Women in Business Panel Video:




Elder Larry Grant with Kelly LendsayKelly Lendsay with photo

Kelly Jim Peter

Indigenous Works stages successful succession planning forum in Vancouver

By Sam Laskaris
Cando Contributor

Organizers are rather pleased of how well things ran at a succession planning forum held in Vancouver in mid-January.

“The event was very well received,” said Kelly Lendsay, the president and CEO of Indigenous Works, the Saskatoon-based organization that staged the forum.
Indigenous Works aims to boost the inclusion and participating of Indigenous people in the Canadian economy.

More than 50 invitees from across the country attended the forum, which was held at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre on Jan. 16-17.

Most of those who took part were from western Canada.

“There was strong representation from British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan and some from Manitoba,” said Lendsay, adding one of the forum participants was from New Brunswick.
Representatives from Indigenous economic development corporations as well as reps from small and medium enterprises attended the forum.

The plan was to get everybody together to discuss strategies for succession planning for business owners thinking ahead to their retired days.

“It was really a nice cross section,” Lendsay said. “Even some students took it in.”

Lendsay said almost 80 per cent of Canadian businesses do not have a succession plan. The forum was staged in part to provide information to those Indigenous representatives looking to create jobs and provide enterprises and investments in their communities.

Read the full article here.



Cando announces...

NIEEF Scholarship Recipients for 2018

Inspiring Success - Time management is key for mother who also juggles work and schooling

Rosemarie Hill

Rosemarie Hill is currently pursuing her Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology.

Rosemarie Hill has become an expert in time management.

For starters, the 39-year-old member of Cook’s Ferry Indian Band in British Columbia is a single mother of four. Her oldest child is 13 while her youngest is just one.

Hill is also working part-time as a receptionist in Merritt, B.C. for the Nicola Tribal Association, which represents seven First Nations, including her own.

Plus she’s also a full-time student now at the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. The Merritt-based school is British Columbia’s Aboriginal post-secondary institute.

Read Rosemarie's story!


Inspiring Success - Indigenous scholarship winner pursuing Master’s degree

Courtney Bear

Courtney Bear, a member of Manitoba's Peguis First Nation, is currently pursuing her Master's degree at the University of Winnipeg.

Courtney Bear is keen to make a difference.

The 33-year-old, a member of Manitoba’s Peguis First Nation, is currently pursuing her Master’s degree via the Development Practice program from the University of Winnipeg.

“I know the importance of education,” she said. “It will help me be successful.”

Bear, a mother of six children ranging in age from eight months to 17 years old, eventually wants to work with Indigenous people who have experienced hardship.

Bear certainly knows what that is all about.

Read Courtney's story!

Inspiring Success - PhD and law school might be in future for Cree student

Taylor Wilson

Though she's in her first year Master's course, Taylor Wilson is already considering future options, including a PhD and law schoo

Taylor Wilson has some rather lofty ambitions.

But the 24-year-old, a member of Manitoba’s Fisher River Cree Nation, is not quite sure where life will be taking her in the coming years.

“I’m passionate about human rights law,” Wilson said. “I’d love to potentially go to law school.”

Wilson graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology in 2016. She also met all of the requirements to earn a Bachelor of Arts in Conflict Resolution but the university does not offer a double major option.

Read Taylor's story!


ED logo



Individual EDO Category

Community Category

Aboriginal Private Sector Business Category



2018 Economic Development Award Nominees

Cando received 9 nominations in the three categories for the 2018 Cando Economic Developer Awards.  Please join us in congratulating all nominees on their great achievements.  Please click on each nominee below to learn more about them.


Remembering Cynthia Bertolin

Cynthia Bertolin

It is with profound sadness that Cando has learned of the passing of Cynthia Bertolin.

Cynthia was a key part of the Cando family for many years serving as Cando Executive Director from the late 1990's through 2002.

Cando extends its condolences to Cynthia's family and friends and we wish them comfort and peace during this very difficult time.


Read obituary here.


Youth Feel Heard, Energized at First-Ever Summit

Youth Delegates 2018

Cando Economic Development Youth Summit stop for a group photo at theend of the learning and hard work. 59 delegates, ranging in age from 18-30 years, from across the country, both Indigenous – First Nations, Inuit and Métis – and non-Indigenous, brought together at the River Cree Resort on the Enoch Cree Nation west of Edmonton from July 22-26, 2018.

By Shari Narine
Cando Contributor

Delegates left Cando’s first Economic Development Youth Summit knowing something very important: they were heard.

Jonathan Nolan Morgan Bellerose“I believe the youth in here, and many others across the country, are getting their education and getting that experience in business and economic development where they can have those voices at the decision-making tables,” said Jonathan Nolan, 27, from the Mississauga First Nation.

Jonathan Nolan (left) with Morgan Bellerose holding the MTV music video award won by Drezus who was performing during the Youth Summit gala evening.

“Their voices matter there and they matter here,” he said. Nolan understands the importance of being heard, especially as he sits as the youngest member on the board of governors for Sault College, in Sault Ste. Marie, where he graduated from the Social Work program in April 2018. Now, he’s wanting to return to school and earn his Bachelor in Business.

Cheyenne McGinnisCheyenne McGinnis, 25, says her job in commercial banking and relationship manager with BMO in Nanaimo, BC, has shown her the importance of listening to what people have to say. And here, she felt listened to.

“This has given me a chance to have a voice,” said McGinnis, who is a member of the Saddle Lake Cree Nation, but grew up on the Blood Reserve.

Cheyenne McGinnis (right) participates with her team case study as part of the Youth Summit.

“I think it’s really inspiring to see our next generation are pushing those boundaries and really taking risks and coming out of their shells here as Indigenous youth because they are beautiful and they are smart and their voices are important in this country,” she said.

Nolan and McGinnis were two of 59 delegates, ranging in age from 18-30 years, from across the country, both Indigenous – First Nations, Inuit and Métis – and non-Indigenous, brought together at the River Cree Resort on the Enoch Cree Nation west of Edmonton from July 22-26.

Read full story here.

Click here to download the latest issue of Cando Connect with 20 pages of Youth Summit coverage and photos!