The Métis Nation-Saskatchewan and Sturgeon Lake First Nation have joined an economic development alliance out of Prince Albert.

The MN-S and Sturgeon Lake signed a memorandum of understanding on Thursday morning to officially become members of the Prince Albert Region Economic Development Alliance (PAREDA).

PAREDA is involved in supporting many economic development opportunities in the region.

MN-S president Glen McCallum says the agreement will help the Métis Nation explore what he says are many opportunities for First Nations and Métis business in the region.

“We are pleased to be joining the Prince Albert Regional Economic Development Alliance as we work together to advance economic growth in the Prince Albert region,” said MN-S President Glen McCallum. “Many of our citizens live, work and thrive in this region and it is important for our Métis Nation–Saskatchewan Government to continue supporting the economic, social, and cultural health and wellness of this great area.”

For Sturgeon Lake Chief Greg Ermine, joining PAREDA as a member is about inclusion and future planning.

“We are just really excited about the direction that the Prince Albert region is going and the opportunities that are coming up in the next few years and we know we will bring a lot of value into that,” Ermine told MBC News.

The Sturgeon Lake First Nation chief now hopes the agreement will help the First Nation explore areas of land development among other opportunities.

“It opens many doors, not just for Sturgeon Lake, but for everyone,” he said.

Sturgeon Lake and the MN-S will joining other members of PAREDA including Peter Ballantyne Development, the City of Prince Albert, the Rural Municipality of Prince Albert, and the Town of Shellbrook.

(With files from Michael Joel-Hansen)

(PHOTO – MN-S President Glen McCallum and Sturgeon Lake First Nation Chief Greg Ermine sign on the become members of PAREDA. Photo by Michael Joel-Hansen)