NAABA Hosts Long-awaited Grand Opening for Downtown Office
Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association (NAABA) hosted a long-awaited grand opening of their downtown office in Fort McMurray – Wood Buffalo on Wednesday, November 9. In attendance were Elders, First Nation’s Chiefs, Metis Presidents, Federal and Municipal Representatives, NAABA Board of Directors and Members as well as Associate Business Members, and members of the business community. Honoring history and tradition, the Grand Opening began with a Ceremonial Smudge, followed by a Pipe Ceremony with Indigenous Leadership, including Indigenous Chiefs and Presidents as well as NAABA Staff and Board of Directors. The afternoon brought greetings from Indigenous Communities, Federal and Provincial Government, and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). NAABA Co-founder, Dave Tuccarro and NAABA Board President, Jaime Harpe came together to cut the ceremonial ribbon in an official symbol of the Office’s opening. The official ceremonies concluded as attendees came together to feast, recalling the organization’s history and the connectivity experienced throughout.
NAABA Executive Director, Michelle Toner spotlighted the organization’s ambitious beginnings, “It has been 29 years since the NAABA organization was conceptualized on a napkin in a local restaurant by several Indigenous entrepreneurs who knew that the opportunities existing in this region were meant for them. This was their backyard. And for 29 years- every step whether it be event, sponsorship, meeting, or on-the-go conversation, has brought us to where we are today.”
Jaime Harpe, NAABA’s Board President added, “This day has been filled with prayer and ceremony as we recognize the contributions of those whose vision it was to bring the Indigenous business community together. We acknowledge and appreciate those who continue to advocate for- and build up- Indigenous business in our region. These entities continue to set the intention as a community to move forward in unison for the betterment of all Indigenous people.”
Expressing deep gratitude for the continued support from these incredibly invested organizations, NAABA recognized the following sponsors:
- Tuccaro – Executive Board Room
- Bouchier – Think Tank
- Syncrude – Incubator Offices
- Suncor – Community Enterprise Centre
- Birch Mountain Enterprises – Project Management and Construction Support
- Dukes Building Supplies – Construction Supplies Support
NAABA would like to thank those who took time out of their busy schedules to attend today’s ceremonies. The organization is eager to leverage the new space as they expand their services and continue to serve their Members.
For more information, please contact:
Michelle Toner, Executive Director