Look North

Look North Task Force

Manitoba's northern people, communities and resources offer a wealth of business investment opportunity. The region is key to the province's economy and the development of a Northern Economic Development Strategy is underway. Led by co-chairs, Onekanew Christian Sinclair and Chuck Davidson, the Look North Task Force presented a report and action plan that is focused on enabling long-term economic growth and job creation in the north. The task force engaged with stakeholders and hosted a series of northern economic summits, bringing together Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses and communities. This is the beginning of a long-term process and further engagement will support ongoing development and implementation of the action plan.

The task force worked with consultants contracted by CEDF in the development of the strategy: Biggar Ideas, in partnership with Arahia Pathfinders.

Advisory Partners

Oswald Sawh, Chief Executive Officer
Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF)

CEDF has been "investing in Manitoba communities for 45 years". It provides support for community economic development in northern Manitoba through its Business Loan and Fisheries Loan programs with emphasis placed on small and medium sized business enterprises and Indigenous peoples outside of the City of Winnipeg. Beyond financial assistance CEDF activities include providing information, advice and training respecting the administration and operation of economic enterprises. Some investment successes include:

  • 11,737 small business jobs maintained over the last 18 years
  • CEDF-funded business enterprises have realized $889,625,747 in revenue since 2001 and paid out $223,747,732 in wages in the last 17 years
  • An annual average of 1,157 commercial fishers supported by CEDF commercial fishing loans -CEDF -funded fishers realizing $286,158,246 in income over the last 18 years


Doug Lauvstad, Executive Director
Northern Manitoba Sector Council (NMSC)


NMSC members employ over 9,000 people in Manitoba. They have taken a leadership role in many northern initiatives including:

  • hosting Career Awareness Tours to highlight resource industry careers available in northern Manitoba
  • the development of the northern Essential Skills Training project
  • Development and delivery of the Underground Mining Program with Crowflight Minerals
  • Development and support of the MKIO Business and Economic Development Forum
  • Participation in Career Fairs to highlight and elevate the status of employment opportunities in northern Manitoba's resource sectors


Economic Summits

A trio of Northern Economic Summits are now underway. These summits bring together community, Indigenous and non-Indigenous businesses and industry leaders in collaborative, solution-building forums to identify pathways leading to renewed growth and economic diversification in Manitoba's northern communities.

Summit schedule: The Pas/OCN, April 3 & 4. Thompson, April 4 & 5. Churchill, April 5 & 6.

Northern Economic Summit, The Pas/OCN - April 3 & 4

Northern Economic Summit, Thompson - April 4 & 5

Northern Economic Summit, Churchill, April 5 & 6

Community Roundtables:

Roundtables have been organized throughout the province as part of the open discussion on northern development and have already taken place in Oxford House, Gods Lake Narrows, St. Theresa Point, and Flin Flon.


Additional roundtables are being scheduled in April. Check back for details. If you are interested in hosting a roundtable in your community please contact us at looknorth@gov.mb.ca for more information.