ECN History of Development
The Enoch Cree Nation (ECN) has a rich, long and proud history of Economic Development. One of the initial economic initiatives was the establishment of the Tomahawk Park around the mid 1960’s. The park was a recreation area which included: an outdoor pool, restaurant, picnic area, rodeo grounds, camp grounds, pony rides, outdoor concert area and a ski hill. In the mid 1970’s, the ECN created the first Taxation By-law on First Nation Land. Further development around this time included a land designation for an Industrial park where a mobile home manufacturing plant leased land and buildings. ECN capitalized on the oil boom of the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s and as a result, the ECN established their own Gas Bar & Convenience Stores, a farming company, and one of the first owned and operated Golf Course’s on First Nation Lands in Canada. Furthermore, several land acquisitions were made locallly, provincially and internationally, including property located in the Palm Springs area in California.
The River Cree Development Corporation (RCDC) was established for the purpose of capitalizing on economic opportunities while safeguarding the other interests of the ECN. Since the establishment of the RCDC, several other initiatives were incorporated to enhance the current economic portfolio. These consist of a fully integrated commercial taxation arm, a holding company and the establishment of a Commercial Property Management company charged with the management of the newly designed River Cree Crossing! Phase I of the River Cree Crossing consists of a 50,000 square foot office building, a 19,000 square foot bank pad, a 6,500 square foot gas bar & convenience store and a 2,900 square foot restaurant. The necessary due diligence has been conducted and the development should be complete by September of 2016. RCDC designed the development focusing on the needs of the ECN while attempting to capitalize on the current housing boom in the area.
Not resting on our laurels, the RCDC has already commenced with the design of the River Cree Crossing Phase II. Although plans are in the early stages, several options of development could include an additional hotel, a restaurant/entertainment district, condominiums, several retail opportunities and additional office space. Harmonizing with the successful River Cree Resort & Casino, the RCDC continues to look at alternatives to enhance and provide drivers for the resort to increase profitability.
The future appears extremely bright for the ECN given the past success and the ongoing planned development of designated lands. By developing our lands internally, we are creating an alternative source of revenue, an additional source of employment, an increasing asset base and an economy in itself! It certainly is an exciting time for the ECN!