Pwi-Di-Goo-Zing Ne-Yaa-Zhing Advisory Services recognized that there were challenges facing many of its First Nations communities in making progress toward growing and maintaining a sustainable economic base; notwithstanding, the small business sector has been widely acknowledged and accepted as a driving force for positive and lasting change, within local and regional economies. Furthermore, it has been well-documented that individual business success is largely dependant upon the development and implementation of a comprehensive business plan, coupled with access to sufficient financing and management skills, to operate the business both sustainably and profitably.
In light of the challenges identified, the First Nations of the Rainy Lake Tribal Area established a financial and business services corporation to provide First Nation entrepreneurs with access to financing and expert business advice. The Rainy Lake Tribal Area Business and Financial Services Corporation was established to provide: 1) access to it member First Nations with financing for business start-up or expansion, and 2) related services in the areas of business support, planning, training, and management skills development.
The Corporation was established in 2004, with the signing of the Articles of Incorporation. The Corporation operates as a for-profit subsidiary of Advisory Services, with a mandate to deliver financial and professional business services to Aboriginal businesses located within the Treaty #3 area, with a focus on the Rainy Lake Tribal Area. Advisory Services and the seven First Nations of the Rainy Lake Tribal Area are the shareholders of the Corporation. Recently, the focus has shifted to all of Treaty #3 area First Nations.
The Corporation of governed by a Board of Directors, comprised of seven Chiefs of the Rainy Lake Tribal Area. The Chiefs act as trustees on behalf of their respective First Nations. The role of the Board of Directors is to ensure good governance within the legal mandate of the Corporation and set policy within the mandate to ensure the ongoing continuity of the Corporation. Policies ensure that maximum benefit is achieved in the provision of the Corporation’s financial and business services.