There are big plans in the future for the Indigenous Agriculture Summit being held in conjunction with Agribition this year.
This is the second year the summit has been held and attendance has doubled from 50 to 100 people this year.
The chair of the summit wants to take it even further next year.
Summit Chair Elmer Eashappie say he hopes to make the summit three days in length and hold it three days before Agribition begins next year.
He says this would inject more cash into the local economy and give Indigenous agriculture a far greater presence at Agribition.
“We have support outside the boundaries of Saskatchewan, outside the borders of Canada,” he says. “Now I want to put it outside the boundaries of North America to the rest of the Indigenous countries like Bogotá, Columbia, Mexico, New Zealand and the list goes on.”
The summit provides all kinds of information and guidance to delegates who are already involved in agriculture or are looking to get in or expand.
Charlie Bear is a third generation cattle rancher from the Chacachas First nation, about 150 kilometers east of Regina.
He has been involved in both band operated farming operations and independent ones where land is leased out.
He leases about 6,000 acres from the Ochapawace First Nation and runs about 800 head of beef cattle.
He says he prefers to go it alone.
“I can do business as I please, whether it’s right or wrong, I make the decisions myself,” he says. “I don’t answer to a chief or council, I don’t need their permission to move cattle here or there, I don’t have to tell anyone what I am doing.”
Bear says there are opportunities for both models.
His advice to anyone who wants to get into agriculture is to have a real passion for it and make sure they have all available information.
Bear says that is why he is at the summit – keeping up to date and getting all the information he needs to remain a competitive cattle rancher.