“This is a dream a long time coming.”
By Brittney Pastion
ALEXIS NAKOTA SIOUX NATION, Alta.
The unveiling ceremony for the Thomas Potts Business Park was held at the Nakota Crossing Petro Canada gas station sign near the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation on May 8. The event was opened with a prayer by Elder Francis Alexis, which was followed by a memorial song and moment of silence to honor past leadership.
Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation leadership and community members were in attendance, including the family members of the former chief, late Thomas Potts, who initiated the development.
“This is a dream a long time coming” said Councillor Erwin Dino Letendre commending the work of past chief and council.
Singing, drumming, dancing and shouts of excitement could be heard as the sign was revealed: “Thomas Potts Business Park Coming Soon.”
Tears of happiness and remembrance flowed during the tribute, an emotional moment for the family.
The property, under its first lease agreement, is strategically located to attract residents of a lot of communities.
“This property will be a good destination stop because from the town of Whitecourt to Stony Plain there’s nowhere really you can sit down,” said Alexis Economic Development worker Dwayne Alexis.
“We want to open this property to partners that want to invest, and lease-to-build businesses,” said Alexis. “Perhaps light industrial.” The business park will ensure that every lease is developed in accordance with the Nation’s designation terms as outlined in the 2008 Land Designation.
Construction on the truck-stop will begin in July of this year, with a tentative opening date scheduled for November 2018, Alexis said.
The 345.8-acre land will be used for residential, commercial, recreational, institutional and educational purposes.
“Support your business because it is the only way to grow economically if it circulates in your community” said Councillor Pearl Potts.
The developer and senior property managing corporation, Thomas Potts Business Park Ltd., will eventually house 20,000 square feet of office space.
The Nakota Crossing Petro Canada sign and property can be found along Highway 43 located 85 kilometers Northwest of Edmonton, adjacent to Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation.