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A prosperous North

means a prosperous Province.

How the Look North Initiative began

In November 2016, the Manitoba Government announced the co-chairs of a new task force to lead the development and implementation of a northern economic development strategy. The named co-chairs of the strategy were: Onekanew (Chief) Christian Sinclair of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation and Chuck Davidson, president and CEO of the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce. From December 2016 to June 2017, the Look North Task force held several meetings, events and conversations with northerners leading to the creation of the Look North Report and Action Plan and formation of the Look North Steering Committee.

The Look North Report and Action Plan identifies six priority areas, coined “the six things that matter most to northerners”. These six things rise above the rest and have the potential to create the biggest quantum shifts, or act as catalysts for wider change.

They include:

Northern mineral and other resource potential

Indigenous engagement and partnerships

Strategic infrastructure investment

Housing challenges and opportunities

Enterprise eco-system of support

Education, training and workforce development

These six priority areas are the foundation of the Look North strategy and provide the framework to achieve economic prosperity in northern Manitoba.

Learn more about the development of Look North

Look North Report and Action Plan.

This report outlines six priority areas with the greatest potential to grow the northern economy.

In March 2018, the Look North Steering Committee hosted roundtable meetings in Thompson and The Pas/OCN to discuss specific solutions and recommendations for each of the Look North priority areas. During these meetings northern stakeholders came together to discuss solutions, successes and opportunities around local economic development in northern Manitoba.

In June 2018, the Steering Committee co-chairs presented a progress update and recommendations to the Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade. One of their key recommendations included establishing a lead entity to coordinate northern economic development and implement the Look North strategy.

In December 2018, Manitoba launched its Economic Growth Action Plan that better aligns strategies that support economic development such as Look North. The Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF), a Manitoba Crown corporation, was identified as the province’s regional partner in northern Manitoba to co-ordinate economic development programming in northern Manitoba and lead implementation of Look North.

In March 2019, the province of Manitoba appointed five new members to the board of directors of CEDF and provided CEDF’s board with a renewed mandate. The new board will continue to build momentum and recognizes that meaningful change requires a combination of short-term actions and long-term initiatives designed to increase economic prosperity.

Discover the story of Northern Manitoba

To summarize and capture the spirit of the Look North initiative, northerners gathered in November 2018 at the Kikiwak Inn, Opaskwayek Cree Nation to share their stories of, and about, Northern Manitoba. Participants were asked to bring a story, image or artifact that says something about Northern Manitoba, or Northern Manitobans.

The messages of these stories are expressed in the Look North Story as key themes and regional truths that express the essence of Northern Manitoba.

Look North Indigenous Economy Report.

This report documents Indigenous economic contributions in Manitoba’s north and is primarily based on the report “Indigenous Contributions to the Manitoba Economy”.

Indigenous Contributions to the Manitoba Economy Report.

This report documents the economic contributions of Indigenous people and communities to the broader Manitoba economy.

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