A man from the Montreal Lake Cree Nation brought a team to Southend last week to encourage residents to seek entrepreneurial opportunities and spread some Christmas spirit.

Dwight Ballantyne says he started The Ballantyne Project to provide inspiration, opportunity and a voice to individuals living in remote First Nations.

The Ballantyne Project team spent four days in the community and handed out Christmas gifts to children and made entrepreneurial presentations.

The gifts included toys, hygiene products, gloves, earmuffs and toques.

“This is our first trip to Southend with the project,” Ballantyne said. “This is the most remote reserve we’ve ever been to. I want to give back. We love the community. It’s just a bunch of great people.”

The team proposed ideas of how to operate businesses such as a thrift store in a presentation.

Residents were then invited to take home the second-hand clothes that were used for the presentation.

The team also recruited for The Ballantyne Project entrepreneurship program.

The Ballantyne Project entrepreneurship program is for Indigenous people ages 19 to 30 and will take place for four weeks in Mission, British Columbia in June 2020.

Ballantyne now loves in Maple Ridge, British Columbia.

(PHOTO: Dwight Ballantyne. Photo courtesy of The Ballantyne Project’s Facebook page.)