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Community Economic Developer

I am excited to announce that I have recently accepted a position with the Saskatoon Tribal Council.  After spending a very rewarding 5 years with Sq’ewá:lxw First Nation, I can now look forward to using the skills that I have learned to help push Ec Dev projects forward in my home province of Saskatchewan.

The communities that I will be working with are:

  • Kinistin Saulteaux Nation
  • Mistawasis Nehiyawak
  • Muskeg Lake Cree Nation
  • Muskoday First Nation
  • One Arrow First Nation
  • Whitecap Dakota
  • Yellow Quill First Nation

Subscribe to read about STC Ec Dev initiatives:

I had the pleasure of working with Mike at Saturn of Regina. His customer Satisfaction level was always high. He had a genuine interest in his clients. He is a fast learner and a product specialist. Mike was always motivated to learn and grow in his career. He also achieved Top Performer recognitions on several occasions. Mike would be a great asset to any company or organization.

Danilo ZambuchiniBusiness Development Manager

Mike provided recommendations to SFU Career Services regarding ways in which we can offer meaningfully Career programs to our Indigenous community on campus. He shared his story in writing through blogs and as the Master of Ceremonies at our Indigenous Peoples Career Stories 2012 to help us understand what we needed to learn. Working with Mike has been educational and completely enjoyable.

Jo-Anne NadortCareer Educator

Mike has demonstrated a commitment to excellence in his work and a creativity that has helped us be a better organization. Mike walks the talk, a quality that is increasingly harder to find these days. Mike is a fine teammate who always is up for a challenge.

Chris Wong-MoonOperations Manager

Mike is a very CREATIVE, skilled, experienced and knowledgeable marketing professional. He knows his role and incorporates all levels of media and marketing tools, including social media, to accomplish his task. A very responsible, on-time & on-budget, family-oriented individual, Mike wears his heart on his sleeve and calls it exactly how he sees it. I would recommend Mike to any organization without hesitation.

Dean DalyPartner/GM

As the founder and director of the Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program and a professional community planner, I had the pleasure of working with Mike developing the Syéx̱w Chó:leqw Adventure Park on behalf of the Sq’ewa:lxw First Nation. Throughout the entire process, Mike was committed to ensuring the long-term sustainability and development of the adventure park in a manner that reflected the Nation's vision and priorities with a strong focus on culture and heritage. Mike guided and managed the project in a highly professional and competent manner, ensuring a large number of contractors, professionals, agencies, were all working towards the same goal and providing the Nation with the highest standard of professional services. Mike has extensive knowledge and expertise in community economic development, project management, business ventures, fundraising and finances and the ability to guide complex development projects through to completion. I would highly recommend him for any Nation or community eager to promote sustainable development.

Patrick LucasCommunity Planner, Writer, Film Maker, Storyteller, Trails & Mountain Bike Enthusiast

I had the pleasure to work with Mike on a large adventure tourism project in the Fraser Valley. I rarely have clients that impress me as much as Mr. Bellegarde. His skills range from project management to marketing and public speaking. Mike planned and organized a fantastic grand opening event, produced high quality marketing material and supervised site construction on a regular basis. Without his high commitment to the project, the outcome would not have been the same. I can highly recommend Mr. Bellegarde.

Thomas SchoenCEO First Journey Trails

Adventures in Podcasting

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Adventures in Podcasting

I have been listening to podcasts for 4 years now.  My commute from Maple Ridge to Ruby Creek is 70 minutes each way, so I have a lot of time to listen to audio in the car and, as much as I love her, even Taylor Swift starts to get stale after a few years on repeat.

My podcast obsession started with Serial, a true crime story about a young man in prison when there is substantial doubt about whether he is the murderer or not.  The podcast was an amazing display of storytelling, the narrator drew me in and I simply could not wait to get back into the vehicle to listen to the next episode.  Good podcasts are like that, they are addictive.

Some of my current favourites are:

So here I am 4 years later and I thought I would try to make a podcast, as a hobby.  One of the first things that you need to decide when setting out to create a podcast is what it is that you will talk about.  I don’t have much expertise in anything, aside from being devilishly handsome and charming, so it took some time to figure out what my podcast should be about.  I have finally decided that I will talk about my job.  Economic Development in First Nations communities.  This will be a great way to connect with the members of the community that I work for and it will expand my network in the field by allowing me to interview successful Economic Development Officers, Consultants, Chief and Council members and grassroots Entrepreneurs.

So I am going to give it a go.  This is the first ever episode of Ruby Creek Radio.  In this episode, I interview Patrick Lucas from the Aboriginal Youth Mountain Bike Program about the trail network that we are currently building on the north side of Skawahlook I.R. #1.  This isn’t anything fancy.  There is no catchy theme music yet and I totally stumble through the interview but here it is.  Enjoy!

Click The Link Below To Listen
Episode 001 – Patrick Lucas

Stó:lō Place Names Tour

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Place Names Tour
Pit House Depression
The Mighty Fraser
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On June 3rd, 2017 I joined 2 board members and 3 staff members of the Stó:lō Service Agency for a Stó:lō Place Names Tour.  My wife and daughter also joined us for the tour.

Sonny McHalsie was our tour guide for the trip.  Sonny does 3 distinct place name tours.  There is one that focuses on the Ts’elxwéyeqw Tribes, one that goes upriver, and one that goes downriver.  On this day we went on the upriver tour.

Sonny is a walking encyclopedia of Stó:lō history.  The tour lasted for about 6 hours and he spoke without a script, or even notes, the entire time. His stories were extremely educational and entertaining.  I also appreciated that he cut the x-rated parts of the stories out since there were children on the tour with us.

I would highly recommend one of Sonny’s Place Names Tours to anyone who has an interest in local Stó:lō culture.