Gregory Koostachin of Attawapiskat First Nation has been inducted into the Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame.
The 71-year-old entrepreneur was inducted for his lifetime commitment to operating a business that benefited himself and the community, as well as mentoring other business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
“What Gregory shares with most of the laureates is that they started so long ago,” said Angela Bishop, director of programming at the Canada Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB).
“Even when Gregory was studying in a rooming house in Sudbury, in his spare time he was contracting himself and his roommates to do odd jobs around town.”
Koostachin moved back to his community to open a general store while working full-time, and over the years started three or four different businesses, providing direct employment within the community. These businesses focus on contracting with other companies within the community, providing opportunities for other Aboriginals to become entrepreneurs as well, Bishop said.
“He’s been an economic advisor to his own community and other communities, and even at the age of 71 now, he’s proactively pulled people together to prepare to take advantage of any opportunities when it comes to development in the Ring of Fire.”
Koostachin joined David Tuccaro of Edmonton, Alta., as this year’s inductees into the Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame, which now has 15 laureates since it’s inception in 2005.
“The (CCAB) and its board members felt that it was important to recognize business leadership in the Aboriginal community,” Bishop said.
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