Job Creation Focus for Pork Processing in Saskatchewan

CANADA - The Chief of the Fishing Lake First Nation says job creation is one of the main factors behind the band's desire to be involved in the development of a new primary pork processing plant in Saskatoon, writes Bruce Cochrane.
calendar icon 21 November 2007
clock icon 3 minute read

The Saskatchewan Slaughter Plant Initiative, a partnership involving the Fishing Lake First Nation, Big Sky Farms and a producer group represented by Sask Pork has been working toward the construction of a new hog slaughtering plant for just over a year.

Plans, unveiled last week, call for the creation of a one million head per year primary pork processing plant in Saskatoon's north heavy industrial area with the bulk of funding expected to come from an investment partnership involving the Fishing Lake First Nation and several other Saskatchewan and Alberta bands.

Fishing Lake chief Allan Paquachan says, for first nation leaders, employment is the motivating factor.

Allan Paquachan-Fishing Lake First Nation

We're always looking at something to find for our people at home.

If we get this thing off the ground there's a huge opportunity for our first nation people to work at this plant.

It's not only first nation people but for all public in general and we're looking forward to that.

There's young people out there always talking to us and they're always telling us, we're always being labelled as first nation people as a burden to the tax payer.

They want to do away with that.

They want employment.

They want to make a living where they are comfortable, spending their own money and not someone else's.

Paquachan notes first nations have a great deal of land, most of which is being leased for next to nothing and he sees this project as an opportunity to utilize some of that land base in a way that will benefit all first nation people.

The goal is to break ground this coming spring.

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