|| Membertou has been able to position itself to play a more aggressive role in the business world with a goal of generating revenue. This would allow them to become more self-sufficient while lowering its dependence on federal subsidization. To achieve its goal, four main strategies were emphasized:
- Increase Membertou's business profile with other major companies by launching its first corporate office.
- Establish new economic development while keeping in mind the indigenous knowledge based on principles of: conservation, sustainability of resources and respect for land, air and water.
- Create business partnerships.
- Initiate proactive education and career-related training programs for Membertou's citizens in order to capitalize on employment opportunities resulting from newly established business partnerships and initiatives.
In January 2002, Membertou received official notification of its International Organization of Standards (ISO) status - establishing Membertou as the very first Aboriginal government in Canada and the world to be ISO 9001 certified. Membertou has established itself as a credible organization in the business world with its ISO certification.
Since the creation of the corporate division, Membertou has seen the development of several businesses including the Membertou Trade & Convention Centre, the Membertou Entertainment Centre, the Membertou Market, the Membertou Gaming Commission, the Membertou Data Centre, Membertou Geomatics, Membertou Radio, Petroglyphs Gift Shop and Kiju's Restaurant.
With its new standards and commitment to continuous development, Membertou is indeed embracing its motto: Welcoming the World!
"The Membertou Corporate Division is committed to creating and enhancing business relationships between the Membertou First Nation and the Canadian and international business community. The corporate strategy is built on the foundations of integrity and fairness, and a dedication to maximizing financial benefits for its partners and the Membertou Community."
The Membertou Corporate Division also identified corporate objectives, which includes creating wealth and development for the Membertou community, define and develop relationships with potential partners in the corporate sector, promote efficiency and profitability within Membertou's current businesses as well as create partnerships with other Mi'kmaq First Nations to ensure that those communities share in Membertou's intellectual properties and corporate success.
What is ISO?
The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) is the world's largest developer and publisher of international standards. ISO is a worldwide federation that works to ensure consistency and quality in companies around the globe. The ISO standardization provides a foundation that, when followed, enables organizations to optimize their activities and confidently and efficiently work with other companies around the globe. The title "ISO" is derived from the Greek, isos, which in English means "equal". Its brand name is universal in every country and language.
The certification that Membertou has, ISO 9001:2008 follows a set of generic management system standards. This means that this certification can be applied to any organization, large or small and can affect all areas of an organization, from production and delivery practices, through accounting and human resources.
Visit www.iso.org for more information on ISO.
In July of 2012, Membertou became the first Aboriginal government to secure long-term financing through the First Nation Finance Authority (FNFA). After completing requirements in the Fiscal and Statistical Management Act, Membertou was approved for a 10 million dollar repayable loan to build new infrastucture within the community.
In past years, Membertou was unable to apply for long-term financing due to strict laws, which crippled its ability to develop in the business world. In securing this financing, Membertou was able to play on a more level playing field with the global business community with fewer barriers and restrictions.
This inaugural financing option allowed for Membertou to overcome the only option they had in the past; high interest and high risk borrowing.