Sto:lo Nation and Sto:lo Community Futures is hosting a conference this week that hopes to build relationships between organizations and businesses operating on its territory.
The event was open to decision-makers from Sto:lo groups and businesses, other First Nations, government and non-profit agencies and non-aboriginal enterprises.
The conference began Tuesday with meetings at the Ramada Plaza and Conference Centre and a cultural event at Sumas Longhouse in the evening. It continues throughout the day Wednesday.
Candace Dennis, director of aboriginal banking in British Columbia for BMO, said the Abbotsford conference is just one of several similar events that take place around the province.
She said they help make it easier to meet with businessmen and women in the nearly 200 First Nations spread out around B.C.
“This was a great opportunity for us to be involved and network and help a lot of business entrepreneurs,” she said. “I do a lot of travelling and sometimes I’m landing in places and have a two-hour drive out and a two-hour drive back.
“This way, they’re all coming in to you in one location.”
At the conference, delegates used an online tool to set up focused, 20-minute appointments with the aim of developing business relationships. The short meetings focus conversation, Dennis said.
“We kind of liken this to speed dating,” she said, “because you get to see if you want to get together for your next appointment.
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