Aboriginal cleanup contracts celebrated with new video

By Tom Ayers
Cape Breton Post
Wed., Apr. 22, 2009

Sydney - An aboriginal development agency is celebrating the success of First Nation companies involved in a cleanup project with the release of a video on the benefits of the first aboriginal set-aside contract in the province.

The Unamaíki Economic Benefits Office, which represents five First Nation communities in Cape Breton, will officially launch the 22-minute video Experienced, Capable, Ready at the Wagmatcook Culture and Heritage Centre today. The launch is being held for government and First Nation officials, but the video will be made available publicly sometime after that.

Robert Bernard, procurement and business liaison officer with the Unamaíki satellite office in Wagmatcook, said the video was a joint venture between the Wagmatcook Community Cable Television network and Membertou First Nation. "Itís a professionally done product geared for a half-hour show,"said Bernard, adding the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network is currently negotiating a deal to air the video. " Weíre certainly excited about the opportunity to promote it."

The video is aimed at a general audience, he said, but would also make an excellent marketing tool for promoting aboriginal business to young people and others in First Nation communities.

"We wanted to not only educate our own people and encourage more business and training in these types of projects, but also the aboriginal community to show we can get out there and do this work,"said Bernard. "Itís part of the capacity building process that our aboriginal leadership has started."

Produced for the Sydney Tar Ponds Agency, the documentary follows the progress of MB2 Excavating and Construction, which worked on the $5-million cleanup of a cooling pond on the former coke ovens site in 2008.