A Saskatoon business group has put out a documentary about the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority (SIGA).

All IN: The SIGA story was produced by the North Saskatoon Business Association (NSBA) as part of their Popcorn and Entrepreneurship Series, which tells stories about businesses and business people.

NSBA Executive Director Keith Moen said they were interested in doing a documentary about SIGA in part because the current time is an exciting one for the First Nations owned gaming authority.

“One was they had their PlayNow platform, the online gaming platform, which has been granted to them this past year and as well they were at that time trending toward a record amount of revenue generation for the organization,” he said.

Another aspect which played into the decision to produce the documentary was how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the gaming industry and how SIGA has been able to recover from it.

The history of how the gaming authority came to be was also something which Moen said was interesting, as the organization’s first Casino on White Bear First Nation in southern Saskatchewan was raided by the RCMP and shut down. Moen explained the extreme reaction by police did however end up pushing the province to make legislative changes which had a major impact for First Nations and Saskatchewan.

“It forced the provincial government into a position where they needed to deal with the situation and by dealing with it they in fact came up with the gaming act and that in turn enabled the formation of SIGA, which in turn created an entire gaming industry in the province of Saskatchewan,” he said.

What SIGA has done when it comes to creating employment and helping people gain employable skills along with generating money for First Nations communities was also another reason NSBA wanted to highlight them.

When it came to production, Moen said it was a process which took around six months, with the NSBA hiring a Saskatoon based production company to produce the short documentary. Shooting for the documentary took place over six or seven days with many working behind the scenes.

While the documentary is now available on the NSBA’s YouTube Channel it originally made its debut to the public at a red carpet event in Saskatoon this past summer. Moen said it was an experience to see how the audience who came out to see the documentary responded to it.

“There is moments of gravity within the movie itself in terms of challenges that were overcome and certainly humor is part of it as well, we like to have an entertaining story told,” he said.