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Moving ahead: Local First Nations celebrate community contributions

This is a time of transition for Indigenous people.

This is a time of transition for Indigenous people. While honouring the traditions of the past, and building upon them, the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs is forging ahead with new initiatives that empower the lives of First Nations peoples and strengthen the entire Battlefords region.

Twelve years ago, BATC started out with $1,500. Today, it has more than 100 staff and a $30 million annual budget.

 “There is a desire to move ahead,” executive director Neil Sasakamoose said in October when he accepted the Battlefords Chamber of Commerce award for community contribution on behalf of the BATC. The award recognized the $10 million that BATC has contributed to community organizations over the past decade.

Last year BATC’s Community Development Corporation contributed almost $3 million to projects that develop healthy communities within the Battlefords area. The grants are funded from Gold Eagle Casino proceeds.

For instance, as well as helping young First Nations athletes in a variety of sports, the CDC provided a grant to the City of North Battleford to host the Saskatchewan Winter Games 2018. The Games were a phenomenal success for local First Nations participants as well as local businesses. Even better, the Games’ legacy continues through surplus funds re-invested locally.

The CDC grants focus on: economic development; social development, community infrastructure development and maintenance; educational development; recreational facilities operation and development; senior and youth programs, cultural development, justice initiatives; health initiatives; and other charitable purposes.

Applications are accepted on a quarterly basis from organizations within the following catchment area: First Nations within BATC; First Nations within Battlefords Tribal Council; independent First Nations; the City of North Battleford; Town of Battleford; and communities within a 100 km radius of The Battlefords.

The next deadline is March 2nd, 2020. For more information on quarterly deadlines visit

If your group would like to apply for a CDC grant, you can fill out an application here.