by Lucie Roy
The Alexander Gas Bar (AGB), located at Alexander First Nation on AB Hwy 642 West held their Grand Opening on Monday, Dec. 9.
The AGB is open to everyone said emcee and Council member Joe Kootenay.
The hours are from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week and breakfast will be served from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m.
The newly renovated building will feature ESSO as the fuel supplier, a kitchen to provide daily fresh foods as well as a convenience store and grocery needs and is 100 per cent owned and operated by Alexander First Nation.
There are 14 out of the current 18 employees that are Alexander Band members.
“The Alexander Gas bar is a huge endeavour for our nation in that we can provide long-term jobs and any revenue will be kept within our Nation which will give us the ability to continue to expand our local economy and services available to our people,” said ABC CEO Ian Arcand.
Alexander Business Centre (ABC) has been organized to provide Executive Management over all AFN owned businesses, its vision and mandate accentuate economic diversification and partnerships for Alexander and its members. The ABC has also been delegated to be first point of contact with all industry and will strive strategically for success.
The Official Opening Ceremony started with an Opening Prayer by Elder Tony Arcand and the Honour Song by the Alexander Drum Group.
Messages from Alexander First Nation Chief Kurt Burnstick and Council Members Joe Kootenay, Chris Arcand, Anita Arcand, Sheldon Arcand and Marcel Paul were followed by a special presentation to former Chief Victoria Arcand.
The plaque dedicated to Victoria Arcand was in honour of her entrepreneurship in opening the primary Alexander First Nation convenience store in 1986. Victoria Arcand was recognized as “Our Women in Leadership” said Council member Anita Arcand as she presented the plaque and flowers to Corinne Arcand, accepting on behalf of her mother.
Speakers and guests included MLA Lac Ste Anne-Parkland Shane Getson, Javed Sommers, Indigenous Services Canada, ABC Board member Kris Vanderburg, Sturgeon County Deputy Mayor Neil Comeau, ABC CEO Ian Arcand, and a framed pictorial history to commemorate the store opening was presented to Ian Arcand and the ABC Group by John Kupchenko, Operations Manager of ONIT- On Track On Budget On Time.
The AGB Tour was followed by the Honour Song, Ribbon and Cake Cutting.