A conference promoting collaboration between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities was resurrected last week by a new partnership between the Yorkton Tribal Council (YTC) and the Yorkton Chamber of Commerce (YCC).
Transactions ran for two years in 2010 and 2011 under a partnership between YTC and the now-defunct Saskatchewan East Enterprise Region (SEER).
Without SEER, the conference floundered in 2012, but then Juanita Polegi, chamber executive director approached Dale Domres, YTC director of economic development.
"The chamber itself had an interest in what Transactions was trying to accomplish," Polegi said. "One of the mandates of the chamber is to promote a regional approach to economic development."
Domres said that while attendance at the conference was down from 2011 by about 30 per cent he was still very satisfied with the turnout, as well as, the themes and presenters particularly since this year was kind of like starting over.
This year's agenda included social media, entrepreneurship, treaties, the economy, Aboriginal inclusion, community planning and collaborative consumption.
Domres said he was very encouraged by the new partnership.
"I was actually quite pleased with some of the comments by Steve McLellan, the CEO of the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce, that that kind of partnership with chambers is an effective way to do what we're doing."
Polegi was also pleased with the conference saying there was a "real buzz in the room."
"It's always a good sign when your conference participants are talking about next year," she said.
Now, the work starts on how to turn the good intentions into concrete results. Domres said the next step is to do a "post-game analysis" to determine how to make the next conference even better and put into action some of the
Polegi said even bringing Aboriginal and non-Aborginal communities together is a good start.
"Building relationships and understanding is so important," she said.