The economic development corporations of two northern Saskatchewan First Nations have each acquired a 30 per cent ownership stake in JNE Welding.

Officials from the English River First Nation and Peter Ballantyne Cree Nation signed the partnership agreement at JNE’s Saskatoon headquarters this morning.

JNE is a supplier to industry in full service steel fabrication.

The First Nations say the acquisition of JNE is an opportunity to diversify their holdings, create jobs and reinvest earnings in ongoing community and economic development.

JNE and their current management team will continue to own and operate the rest of the business.

Both sides hope this partnership will grow Saskatchewan’s economy as well as foster long-term Aboriginal economic development.

First Nations, business and political leaders attended an announcement of the new partnership this morning in Saskatoon.