Outspoken chief slated to address conference here

Peggy Revell

Fort Frances is hosting the annual “Northern Networks” conference in September, with B.C. Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos band slated as the keynote speaker.
This will be the third time the conference has been held in Fort Frances, noted organizer Tannis Drysdale.
Set for Sept. 15-17, it will bring together economic development officers, elected officials, chambers of commerce, and business people from both sides of the border to “discuss opportunities, to network, and find strategic alliances.”
“The theme this year is ‘Local solutions for a sustainable future,’” Drysdale said of the conference, which rotates throughout the region from year to year and typically attracts 100-150 delegates from Northwestern Ontario, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
“[It’s] sort of looking at where we, as small communities, and medium-sized cities like Duluth and Thunder Bay, fit in and how we can take advantage of our local attributes, or our local assets in terms of global trade in the global economy,” Drysdale explained.
Besides other speakers, tours, and presentations during the conference at La Place Rendez-Vous, Chief Louie will deliver the keynote address on the Thursday afternoon.
“[Chief Louie is] doing phenomenal things when it comes to bringing his community forward,” noted Drysdale.
“One of the greatest ways to bring people forward, and certainly he recognizes this, is by empowering them—empowering them through jobs and economic prosperity,” she remarked.
“And we’re thrilled that he’s agreed to come and speak to us about the importance of partnerships and the importance of growing communities through economic development.”
Hosting “Northern Networks” is an opportunity for the district to showcase itself, added Drysdale, and also means more local people can benefit from the various experts coming in to speak than when the conference is held elsewhere.
“We’re really excited about the conference,” she enthused. “We think it’s going to be a wonderful time to showcase the Rendez-Vous, our hotels, our new waterfront, our farms and technology, as well as the really ‘can-do’ spirit of the Rainy River District.”
The conference’s agenda, registration forms, as well as information on accommodations are available at www.rrfdc.on.ca
While registration is for all three days, limited seating will be available for those just wanting to attend the Thursday luncheon to hear Chief Louie speak.