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Partnership with mines, theme of Aboriginal forum – Timmins Press

TIMMINS – Business partnerships were the theme at the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund’s 2014 Aboriginal Forum on the final day of the Northern Mines Expo in Timmins on Thursday.

Shawn Batise, executive director for Wabun Tribal Council, was the keynote speaker for the event. Prior to taking the stage in front of around 70 people at the McIntyre Ballroom, he foreshadowed the basis of his speech.

“I’m going to try and focus on the agenda theme, which is unlocking the value in Aboriginal and business partnerships, particularly in the mining sector,” said Batise. “I think a lot of businesses are becoming more open to partnering with First Nations, but there’s still some resentment, (a feeling) that we’re a threat to businesses that have supplied the mining in this area for decades.

“We’re a new player, so people are always going to be threatened, but there are new opportunities there as well, and people should seize on them and be more proactive about engaging First Nations in business development.”

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