On the weekend, officials with the Port of Algoma signed a Reconciliation and Prosperity Accord with Garden River First Nation. Planned in the spirit of healing and reconciliation, the historic agreement speaks of the common vision between the two parties. In particular, the accord highlights the importance of protecting the region’s water, land and air for future generations.
“The signing of the Reconciliation and Prosperity Accord is a significant development for the Port of Algoma and our area First Nations communities,” said Don Mitchell, President and Board Chair of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation (SSMEDC). “This agreement signals a new era of consultation and cooperation. It allows area First Nations to share in the projected prosperity of this regional transportation infrastructure project. I congratulate all stakeholders and partners of this initiative for their efforts and commitment in advancing this important project.”
Port of Algoma and Garden River First Nation have been working together over many months to build a relationship and an understanding on the idea of reconciliation and healing. Through discussions and openness, a common vision was achieved. The accord was signed on Saturday by Garden River First Nation Chief Paul Syrette and Port of Algoma CEO Anshumali Dwivedi. It was witnessed by MP Terry Sheehan and Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day. Also taking part in the ceremony were representatives from project partners, including the SSMEDC, City of Sault Ste. Marie, Anishinabek Nation and North Shore Tribal Council.
The Port of Algoma aims to take advantage of the area’s strategic location at the heart of the Great Lakes, on the Trans-Canada Highway and adjacent to U.S. Interstate-75. The initiative will make it considerably more cost-effective to transport products to, from and through Sault Ste. Marie. Construction of the port is expected to create 1,350 full-time jobs, with an estimated 250 permanent jobs and 1,200 spin-off jobs to be created once the facility is operational.
“This initiative is a game changer for Sault Ste. Marie, the Algoma region and Northern Ontario,” said Dan Hollingsworth, Executive Director of Business Development for the SSMEDC, who sits on the Project Management Team for the Port of Algoma. “With a significant impact on area employment, wealth generation and tax base, this project is a key priority for our organization. We look forward to continuing to work with Port of Algoma officials and other partners on advancing this initiative in the months to come.”