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The fledgling Songhees Innovation Centre received $93,410 in federal funding on Tuesday, its share of more than $27.8 million being disbursed among 45 projects to support First Nations economic development in Western Canada.
Other Island projects include the University of Victoria’s Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs Artists Pilot Program, which will receive $567,000, and the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, which will receive $500,000 to build clean energy infrastructure.
“It really is where people come together, share ideas, network with one another,” he said.
“It really is a fitting location to talk about strengthening economic development opportunities for Indigenous people.”
Songhees Chief Ron Sam said the innovation centre has also been helped by the South Island Prosperity Project, Animikii Indigenous Technology, the Victoria Foundation and the Community Micro Lending Society.
Sam said the federal funding is appreciated.
“We are grateful and inspired to be the recipient of funding that supports the ongoing success of Indigenous entrepreneurs at the Songhees Innovation Centre,” he said.
“We are witnessing the emergence of a growing number of impassioned Indigenous graduates and businesspeople, for whom the co-working environment is a natural catalyst for launching and growing entrepreneur-driven enterprises.”
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