One Arrow First Nation Economic Growth for the Future

One Arrow First Nation was pleased to share with about 100 guests which included representatives of neighbouring communities, the grand opening on August 31st of their new Lodge and Cultural camp located on the shore of Adamson Lake in the Nesbit Forest. OAFN is hoping to attract businesses and/or individuals who are looking for a meeting space. The view of the lake showcased through the floor-to-ceiling windows, creates a breathtaking picture guaranteed to draw people out onto the wrap-around deck. The boardroom in the Lodge is perfect for a small meeting, while the lower level is ideal for larger gatherings such as training sessions, retreats, and family gatherings such as weddings and reunions. They have rates available for the rental of the boardroom as well as for the use of the entire Lodge and are very excited to share this space with anyone who is interested in renting it. If there is interest in renting the facility, Ruth Harman, OAFN Human Service Manager, is the contact person and she can be reached at 306-380-6956.

The project was started in 2014 by the prior administration, with the original intent for the Lodge and camp to be used for cultural and ceremonial purposes, and that will still be its top priority, providing space for land-based teaching and cultural practices like medicine harvesting. However, when it is not being used by One Arrow First Nation, it will be available for use by others. Presently, only the lodge will be available for rent. As there are still a few things left to be completed in the eight cabins that make up the camp itself, OAFN is unsure when the camp will be made available for rent. They are anticipating it will be available for use in the spring of 2024 and with plans to winterize the cabins, the site will be available year-round. Chief Janine Baldhead told paNow’s Nigel Maxwell that the plan is to make the Lodge and Camp a provincial tourist destination.

One Arrow First Nation’s community and economic development has in no way been limited to its camp off Highway 11. Along with the opening of the Lodge at Adamson Lake, OAFN saw a new store open on the Reserve, as was reported in the August 24th edition of The Wakaw Recorder. Partnering with The Grocery People to open the new store, they are excited to have the basic essential needs available to community members without having to rely on driving to communities like Rosthern and Wakaw to get their basic supplies. The new building in which the store is located will also house their local bakery, a Canada Post office which will be newly added business to the Reserve, and a retail space. The bakery, which provides a full variety of baked goods, has been fully operational in another building for the past two years, but by supplying bakery products to several businesses and the community, it was essential to expand to keep up with the demand. As well, it will be offering a deli service and plan to be doing some catering.

The Almightyvoice Education Centre Business Club’s 3R Innovative Imaging, which this reporter first wrote about in an article published in the September 2, 2021, edition, is now a six-figure business and was number three in the Pow Wow Pitch that year. They sell one-of-a-kind art in various retail locations across Canada. Also in 2022, the student business was one of 18 businesses chosen from across Canada to showcase in the Bear’s Lair, a Dragon’s Den-style show, which airs on APTN. With the focus on business and development starting in the school with the young people, there will undoubtedly be more new and upcoming developments for the First Nation in the near and distant future.

Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder