Forwarding First Nation Goals Through Enterprise Ownership: The Mikisew Group Of Companies


The Mikisew Group of Companies (Mikisew Group) is the business arm of the Mikisew Cree First Nation (MCFN). Founded in 1991 using monies from a $26.6 million land claim settlement with the governments of Alberta and Canada, it has achieved remarkable success. This success is evident in the wide arra y of business practice awards the group and its constituent companies have received, including Client of the Year (2008, Mikisew Group), Alberta Business Award of Distinction Eagle Feather finalist (2010, Mikisew Group), Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training Board Aboriginal Employer of the Year (2011, Mikis ew Fleet Man a gement), Pacrim Hospitality Company of the Year (2008, Super 8 Fort McMurray), Alberta Hotel and Lodging Association Housekeeping Award (2012, Super 8 Fort McMurray), and the Fort McMurray Tourism Ambassador of the Year (2009, Tim Gilles, general manager, Mikisew Sport Fishing).

But the Mikisew Group is not just a business. It is part of the MCFN’s overall strategy for increasing self-sufficiency and self-determination. Its success in these terms is evident in the substantial revenue it generates for MCFN, the jobs and careers it provides for the nation ’s citizens, and its ability to promote MCFN voice in decisions that affect the nation’s Aboriginal territory. This case study, part of a larger conversation about Aboriginal business achievement, explores the decisions and practices that have contributed to the Mikisew Group’s success.

Native Nations
Resource Type

Jorgensen, Miriam and Rachel Starks. Forwarding First Nation Goals Through Enterprise Ownership: The Mikisew Group Of Companies. Prepared for the Indigenous Leadership and Management Program, The Banff Centre. Native Nations Institute for Leadership, Management, and Policy. The University of Arizona. Tucson, Arizona. April 2014. Case Study. (, accessed April 17, 2014)