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Local Business Look North Task Force opens the door to


opportunity in Manitoba’s north By Dorothy Dobbie


Flin Flon, where mining is still the engine of growth. I


n 2016, the Look North Task Force, led by co- chairs Onekanew Christian Sinclair, chief of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation, and Chuck Davidson, president of the Manitoba Chambers of Com-


merce and a native northerner, was appointed by Premier Brian Pallister. Te job of the Task Force has been to re-discover the


endless energy that made Manitoba a leader in resource development for many years. Te members have been tasked to open the doors of opportunity to the indig- enous peoples who form the large majority up north, to empower current entrepreneurs and to let fresh air into the resource industries. On this journey of discovery, the Task Force travelled


from community to community for much of the past year, holding round tables and seeking made-in-the- north answers to questions of enterprise, education,


22 • Winter 2018


training, and development. Referencing the premier’s plan to fix finances, repair


services and rebuild economic structure, the Task Force focussed on the possibilities rather than the failures of the past. Teir goal was to ask those who live and work in the North, what they need to make it a vibrant, hum- ming force again and then to look for strategies to make this happen. Key among their findings was that the sense of en-


terprise that always drove the North has been largely dissipated by people coming in from the outside to tell them how to fix things, while creating barriers through regulations, rules and inappropriate initiatives that dis- couraged local residents from tackling things in their own way. Te Task Force, simply by encouraging discussion and focussing on solutions, has already gone a long way to-


The Hub


All photos by Dorothy Dobbie.


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