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Urban Reserve in Swan River Made Official


Last Wednesday (July 11), Sapotaweyak Cree Nation (SCN) held a ceremonial sod turning at 703 Main Street, the newest urban reserve property in Swan River.
“As a business opportunity, it is only strengthening our community and helping develop our economy,” said SCN Chief Nelson Genaille.
“This new business will create job opportunities and support our community.”
SCN is entering into agreements with Petro-Canada to develop a gas bar on the lot, the former location of the historic Valley Hotel.
The lot was officially transferred into SCN reserve property on May 4, which meant the project could move forward.
“When the government of Canada takes steps to honour the commitments to treaty land, it is about more than keeping our word,” said Regional Director General for Indigenous Services Canada - Manitoba Stephen Traynor. “When we work with a First Nation to create new reserve land, we are taking an important step towards the goal of reconciliation.
“When SCN signed Treaty Four in 1874, the commitment was to provide lands for the basis of economic growth and sustainability. With this transfer, the First Nation will have the land base to continue to expand its very successful economic partnership with the Town of Swan River.”
Town of Swan River Glen McKenzie noted that he saw this partnership as a win-win for Chief Genaille and his people and for the people of Swan River.
“We have a very good working relationship (with SCN and Chief Genaille),” he said. “We appreciate your investment in our community.”
With the name-brand connections, SCN will be working diligently to bring in a sustainable and prosperous business, something Petro-Canada recognizes.
“We appreciate the new partnership and are very excited for this mutually beneficial relationship,” said Petro-Canada Territory Manager - Manitoba Veronica Padewski. “We are impressed by the work that SCN has already undertaken and the vision they have for this project.
“We recognize that this site will represent a source of revenue for the community, a source of employment, a community gathering point, and a source of pride.”
SCN has plans to begin construction in the next few weeks, with a grand opening in early spring.

Jessica Bergen