After months of delays, members of the Nisichawayasihk Cree Nation (NCN) finally opened their Thompson gas station to the public on May 3.
Friday’s soft launch featured appearances from various members of the NCN band council, who were excited to see the end result of a project that’s been in development since April 2017.
“It’s been a long time coming,” said Chief Marcel Moody. “It’s an opportunity for NCN to add more revenue to our community and employ our people and provide a better service for the City of Thompson as well.”
Moody went on to say that while they still need to complete the property’s parking lot, the convenience store is fully stocked and the gas pumps are ready to go.
He also mentioned that NCN is employing roughly 20 people to run the gas bar.
Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief Garrison Settee was on hand for Friday’s soft launch, and said he was proud that NCN was adding another Thompson business to its portfolio.
“It goes to show what a First Nation can do when they set their mind and put their heart into an issue,” he said. “I myself commit to supporting this business whole heartedly. This is where I’ll fill up my 4x4.”
Moody told the Thompson Citizen that NCN will host an official grand opening ceremony in late May or early June when they put the finishing touches on the gas bar.
Until then, the NCN chief invited anyone with an Indian status card to fill up with treaty gas at the station, which will offer 24/7 service.
“It’s been long overdue for our community and for the people who are going to be using the facility,” he said.
NCN also owns Family Foods, the Mystery Lake Hotel and Meta Cannabis Supply in Thompson, the last of which opened for business in December 2018.