Building Business Bridges at PDAC 2023

Creating connections

Two people posing in front of posters.

Albalina Metatawabin, CEO, Mushkegowuk Development Corporation (on the left), talks with a visitor to her booth in the Northern Ontario Mining Showcase at PDAC 2023.

Mushkegowuk Development Corporation (MDC), general partner for the Mushkegowuk Regional Economic Development Limited Partnership, was founded with the vision to support economic growth through the pursuit of sustainable business development opportunities that generate wealth and create employment for its Indigenous partners. Established in 2016, MDC works on behalf of its First Nation  Limited Partners, Chapleau Cree,  Missanabie Cree, Fort Albany, Kashechewan, Taykwa Tagamou Nations and the Mushkegowuk Tribal Council.

At the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) 2023 convention held March 4-8 in Toronto, MDC was one of 112 mining supply and service companies in the FedNor-supported Northern Ontario Mining Showcase. MDC’s chief executive officer had a specific goal in mind for her return visit: to promote MDC‘s own supply company – a lumber, hardware and building supplies store located in Moosonee. 

“We recently expanded into the commercial, industrial and mining sectors,” revealed Albalina Metatawabin, Chief Executive Officer, Mushkegowuk Development Corporation. “Our booth at PDAC is all about making connections and promoting, and hopefully creating some partnerships that benefit MDC and its Indigenous owners.”

First Nation-owned store serves the James Bay Coast and Moosonee region, encouraging local spending

Exterior of Great North Building Supplies building in the winter

Mushkegowuk Development Corporation was drumming up business at PDAC 2023 for its lumber, hardware and building supplies store. 

The store, which opened in March 2020, has a diverse product line of building materials, tools and hardware, all designed to reduce what Metatawabin refers to as economic leakage.  She says encouraging local spending supports local jobs and regional prosperity. With so many opportunities, Metatawabin says she’s trying to focus on those that will maximize the benefits for the Limited Partners. 

“There are a lot of non-Indigenous companies that are very sincere about wanting to elevate Indigenous businesses so they can be full active participants in the economy. They understand the mutual benefits of partnering and want to help reduce barriers that still exist for Indigenous businesses,” explained Metatawabin.

With almost 24,000 visitors coming through the Northern Ontario Mining Showcase over five days, PDAC is the right place for MDC to explore those opportunities.