Ermineskin Cree Nation gas station now employing full aboriginal staff

The gas station in Ermineskin Cree Nation has undergone a transformation. A new owner has given it a facelift, and the 15-member staff is now all aboriginal, mostly from the four reserves that surround Maskwacis in central Alberta.

At first blush, it seems like a given that a gas bar on a First Nation would employ indigenous people to work the cash register and pump gas, especially in a community where an estimated seven of 10 adults don’t have a job.

But that was not the case until Neyaskweyak Group of Companies (NGCI) took over the business in April. Like a cafeteria owner in the Maskwacis Mall, the previous gas-station operator went outside the area’s reserves for labour. In fact, the cafeteria’s non-aboriginal owner looked all the way overseas, hiring temporary foreign workers with the federal government’s blessing, The Globe and Mail recently revealed.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Hey, weren’t those TFWs doing the work the aboriginals were unwilling to do?
    You mean that was a total lie!?
    Well shut the door!

  • glasnost

    Sweet deal:

    When at least 90 percent of the duties of employment are performed on a reserve, all of the income of an Indian from that employment will usually be exempt from income tax.

  • ntt1

    The entire TFW programme has to be shut down. The new owners are to be commended on giving local workers a chance. TFW means getting compliant frightened workers at below market rates, start charging them for company accommodation and food and the basis for an indentured workforce is being laid. If a percentage of the locals don’t work out then replace them, by other locals, its called turnover and its very common at low wage job sites.

  • Exile1981

    I give it 2-3 weeks before the new owners run into problems with theft by employees. I have a friend who is native and owns a business on a reservation and he says you have to be very careful about who you hire because of till theft. He also says certain families he would never hire from.