CALGARY - The Stoney Nakoda Casino opened today following a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the chiefs of the Stoney Nakoda First Nation. Last week, the elders held a sacred pipe ceremony to bless the site.
"We are open for business. We are open to host you on our traditional lands," said Darcy Dixon, chief of the Bearpaw, one of three Stoney Nakoda First Nation tribes (Wesley, Chiniki and Bearspaw).
"This is a very good day for the Stoney Nakoda Nation and all of its members. This opening marks the start of an important journey toward economic self-reliance," said Clifford Poucette, chief of the Wesley First Nation.
The chiefs hope the casino will bring economic and social benefits to their 4,000 people, including employment, housing and social programs. Unemployment is currently 80 percent on the reserve.
"You've got to work to earn a living, there's no doubt about that, and it goes for our membership, too. They have to work to earn a living and move forward in their lives. We have to make sure they are aware of that. …If we don't start today, we're not going to move ahead too quickly on some of these other developments without our own people working," said Darcy Dixon, Bearpaw Chief.
$65-million building project
Located at the junction of the Trans-Canada and Highway 40 (turnoff to Kananaskis Country)
55 kilometres west of Calgary
300 slot machines
15 gaming tables
Hotel - 111 guest rooms (opens in December)
Visit our Stoney Nakoda Casino page for more information.
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