Indigenous people were the first entrepreneurs in the nation and their entrepreneurial spirit is strong. The number of Indigenous businesses is in the Saskatoon Region has almost doubled over the past decade, from 160 to 285 and spending by Indigenous business has nearly tripled in the last 10 years from $206 million (2011) to $608 million (2021).
Saskatchewan as the second highest proportion of self-identified Indigenous people among all provinces. In the Saskatoon Region alone, there are approximately 29,880 self-identified Indigenous people, and this continues to grow.
Indigenous Economic Development & Business Associations
Saskatchewan Indigenous Economic Development Network (SIEDN), is a not for profit that works with First Nation and Metis economic development practitioners and organizations to share information and expertise and foster relationships.
Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), builds bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples, businesses, and communities through diverse programming, providing tools, training, network building, major business awards, and national events.
Saskatchewan Indigenous Chamber of Commerce (ICCS), connects indigenous businesses with each other in a marketing, procurement, and networking capacity
Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers (CANDO), is a national body that provides training, educational and networking opportunities for Economic Development Officers to serve their communities and organizations as professionals.
The National Indigenous Economic Development Board helps the federal government develop and implement policies and programs for Indigenous people.
Indigenous Business Directories
Indigenous Business Directory, is a database of Indigenous business in Saskatchewan, which are 51%+ Indigenous-owned. The directory is hosted by the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.
SaskMétis Works Business Directory, is a directory of Métis businesses in Saskatchewan, that have been verified by the SaskMétis Economic Development Corporation.
Saskatchewan First Nations Natural Resource Centre of Excellence serves willing First Nations with tools, business and industry advice necessary for sound advancement and success.
First Nations Land Holdings & Reserves in Saskatoon Region
Currently, there are 20 First Nations with land holdings or reserves in the Saskatoon Region. To see which Nations have land holdings and where, take a look at the Map and community profiles.
Indigenous Business Investment & Financing
Wiyotisiwin Investment Management Company, is Saskatchewan’s first Indigenous owned & managed investment firm. The firm helps First Nations use funds held in trusts to finance economic development.
Saskatchewan Indigenous Investment Finance Corporation (SIIFC), provides access to capital for Indigenous communities and entities participating in Saskatchewan’s natural resource and value-added agriculture sectors.
Saskatchewan Indigenous Enterprise Foundation (SIEF), provides financing for First Nation’s start-up businesses and to existing First Nation businesses operating in Saskatchewan.
SaskMétis Economic Development Corporation (SMEDCO), offers grants and financing for Métis owned businesses operating in Saskatchewan.
Clarence Campeau Development Fund (CCDF), helps improve the economic circumstances of Saskatchewan’s Métis by providing funding and capacity for business and community economic development for new and existing Métis businesses.
Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program, is a Government of Canada program that funds a broad range of entrepreneurial pursuits to build capacity and increase access to capital. There are two streams: Access to Capital and Access to Business Opportunities.
The following municipalities have created Indigenous Procurement Policies to reduce barriers to government’s procurement opportunities and better support participation by Indigenous businesses and communities.
To find current public sector tender notices with these communities, visit SaskTenders.
Cultural Awareness & Training
Connect R, is an online tool that helps you choose your next steps towards Reconciliation.
Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce’s Indigenous Awareness Training, offers webinars designed to inform members of the business community about the culture and history of Indigenous peoples in Saskatchewan. Current courses range from Level 1 to Level 3.
The 4 Seasons of Reconciliation content and resources were developed in partnership with First Nations University of Canada and Productions Cazabon, Reconciliation Education, an award-winning film and media production company.
The Indigenous Leadership Development Institute Inc. is a non-profit organization established to build leadership capacity in Indigenous people and provides Indigenous Awareness Training.
SREDA’s SOAR kihiw paskîyâkêwin Indigenous Entrepreneurship Competition awards a total of $30,000 cash to promising Indigenous businesses ready to grow.
Business in Saskatoon
Saskatoon’s mix of economic diversity, low business costs and high quality of life make it the perfect place for businesses and people to thrive.
Life in Saskatoon
From a low cost of living and short commute times, to great schools and endless entertainment options, there’s no better place to work and play.