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Wheels In Motion For New Aboriginally Owned Auto Center

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      SUMMER EDITION 1991      v20 n03 p10  
North Battleford, Saskatchewan, July 26, 1991 - Ceremonies were held today to mark the official opening of Topline Tire & Auto Centre Inc., an auto repair and retail tire outlet located in North Battleford. The operation is co-owned and operated by three Saskatchewan Indian Bands: the Mosquito Grizzly Bear's Head Band, and Poundmaker Band and the Sweetgrass Band. To establish the business, the new company will receive a contribution of $217,530 through Industry, Science and Technology Canada's (ISTC) Aboriginal Business Development Program.

Chief Richard Gladue of the Flying Dust Band, and also a member if ISTC's Aboriginal Economic Development Western Board, made the announcement today at the ceremonies on behalf of the Honourable Tom Hockin, Minister of State (Small Businesses and Tourism) and Minister responsible for Aboriginal Economic Programs.

L-R, Ray Ahenakew, Chief Richard Gladue, Wayne Ray, Randy Wallace
L-R, Ray Ahenakew, Chief Richard Gladue, Wayne Ray, Randy Wallace

The initial phase of the project consisted of purchasing an existing auto centre, upgrading and expanding the facilities to permit repair services for school buses, transport trucks, as well as vehicles and equipment used in the agricultural sector. The business will serve the tire and auto repair needs of communities in the Battlefords area.

Part of the federal funding package will also include support for the implementation of a marketing plan and for follow-up business advisory services.

"Topline Tire & Auto Centre promises to be a very viable business venture which can contribute to the growing awareness of Aboriginal entrepreneurship," Chief Gladue said. "In addition, this project has helped to create six new position, three or more of which will be filled by Aboriginal employees."

The Aboriginal Business Development Program is administered by Industry, Science and Technology Canada, and is one of the elements of the Canadian Aboriginal Economic Development Strategy which is designed to foster increased Aboriginal economic self-reliance through the development of a strong Aboriginal private sector.

For further information, contact:
Patricia Seguin
Aboriginal Economic Programs
Industry, Science and Technology
Canada
Ottawa (613) 954-0146

Roy Albert
Topline Tire & Auto Centre Inc.
North Battleford, Sask.
(306) 445-4449