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Lyle Leo wins CANDO economic developer of the year

Lyle Leo’s achievements in economic development have been nationally recognized.

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The lead negotiator for Lil’wat Nation Economic Development has won the Council for Advancement of Native Development Officer’s (CANDO) Economic Developer of the Year award.

Delegates at the 12 th annual CANDO conference, recently held in Sault St. Marie, Ont., voted after viewing 30-minute presentations outlining the various economic development projects each nominee had undertaken.

Leo, who has a background in forestry, was responsible for setting up Creekside Resources, the corporate arm of he Lil’wat Nation. For the past 15 years, Leo has been instrumental in laying the foundation for the Mount Currie band to increase its wealth via non-treaty means. He is also credited with bringing Mount Currie onside with the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

Leo had a pivotal role in assuring that Olympic venue environmental assessment reviews also examined the cultural and heritage features of the land.

"This award will provide greater recognition of our community in business and government circles," said Liz Jones, director of the Mount Currie band’s Lands and Resource Department. "He’s a big voice for the Lil’wat Nation."

Jones explained that Leo’s involvement will have several positive spin-offs, including creating jobs for Lil’wat technicians trained in environmental and archeological monitoring.

"This award not only recognizes Lyle’s contributions, but the whole community’s economic development inventiveness," said Sheldon Tetreault, senior administrator for the band. "This national award will go across the province and country to build networks and exposure for Mount Currie."

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