Indigenous business serving our local communities and making a difference

The CommAlert Group is a successful and growing First Nations business. We are dedicated to serving our neighbours and colleagues in the indigenous community, and the community at large. During the pandemic, we’ve had the opportunity to provide our services to Canadian First Nations bands and organizations. These projects helped streamline administrative systems, and provide accurate and timely information to help keep members safe and get access to pandemic relief funding.

Information update line for Beaver First Nation

At the end of March 2020, Beaver First Nation in Alberta needed assistance getting accurate information regarding the pandemic to its members. Most importantly, elders and vulnerable individuals needed information and instructions to ensure their safety.

The CommAlert Group set up a 24-hour Update Line in the community. The hotline provided immediate access to the most up to date information on the pandemic, in the local indigenous language. In the beginning, our trained agents took the calls. Beaver First Nation recruited community members to be trained to handle the line. CommAlert remained in the background to provide instruction and on-going support.

Tim Carwell, President of The CommAlert Group, stated that “it’s important that members of the local community are answering the calls. Local knowledge, an understanding of the language, and that sense of community are essential for moving through a crisis like this one.”

The community was also set up with a mass notification system. This allowed the administration to send alerts to community members, informing them of the latest update or to provide them with new instructions.

“Your alert system is exactly what we needed. Our people appreciate it and I get calls right after. It really shows how useful it is,” said Trevor Mecredi, Chief of Beaver First Nation.

During the pandemic, having the right information was the starting point for staying safe.

Information line for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs

In May, the government announced relief funding for First Nations citizens in Manitoba that were living off-reserve. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) was suddenly flooded with calls, emails, and online applications. They couldn’t deliver information fast enough. People were having a hard time applying for the funding, and the system was jammed.

The CommAlert Group helped by setting up a 24-hour phone line. The information line helped process and assist eligible citizens with their application. It provided timely, accurate information, and helped take applications for the emergency funding for First Nation citizens from Manitoba who live in Winnipeg.

“It’s important that First Nation citizens who are eligible for this funding have access to the information and support in the application process that they need, especially during a time of crisis like this.” said AMC Grand Chief Arlen Dumas.

The quick access to information and clear instructions on how to apply streamlined the process and reduced stress for the applicants and the AMC. It also helped in quickly getting funding to those individuals and families that needed it to get through the crisis.

Why supporting Indigenous businesses is important

It’s important to support local businesses, including indigenous businesses. A growing Indigenous business sector will create jobs and put more valuable goods and services on the market to help fuel our economy. An inclusive and diverse business sector will strengthen our social fabric, and help everyone grow towards success.

For many, supporting Indigenous businesses is seen as a pathway to healing damaged relationships with First Nations, Inuit, and Metis people. This article shares more about how indigenous businesses can strengthen Canada’s economic growth.

Have questions? We’d love to chat with you about it more. Email us.