Clarence Louie is one of Canada’s most renowned and successful leaders as chief and CEO of corporate Band operations. He has led the Osoyoos Indian Band in south central British Columbia since 1984, emphasizing economic development to improve living standards. The Band has become a multi-faceted corporation that owns and manages eleven businesses, five joint ventures and employs a thousand people. It now owns and operates a diversity of businesses on the reserve, including: vineyards, retail stores, a Readi-Mix company, a championship golf course, eco-tourism businesses and activities in forestry. In 2002 the Band opened the first Aboriginal winery in North America—Nk’Mip Cellars.

Other achievements under Chief Louie’s tenure include the negotiated settlement of three Specific Land Claims, the successful negotiation of over 1,000 acres of lease developments, the acquisition of hundreds of acres of land to add to the reserve, the purchase of a viable off-reserve business, the financing of a major golf course development, the initiation of the Osoyoos Indian Taxation By-law, the financing and building of a new pre-school/daycare and grade school/gymnasium, construction of a new Health Center/Social Services building and in 2008 the building of a Youth Centre.

Chief Louie’s constant message is: “Socio-economic development is the foundation for First Nation self-reliance. We need to become business minded and begin to create our own jobs and revenue sources, not just administer underfunded government programs. Each First Nation must take back their inherent and rightful place in the economy of their territory. This begins with a change of mindset from spending to making money.” Responsibly creating employment and business revenue will, he suggests, bring back, “our First Nation working culture, the self-supporting lifestyle of our ancestors.” As well, in achieving self-sufficiency, the Osoyoos Indian Band emphasizes the importance of maintaining the Okanagan language and culture. The establishment of the Nk’Mip Desert & Cultural Center is a testament to this commitment of balancing business while investing time and money in culture.

Chief Louie’s efforts have been widely recognized throughout North America through a long list of most distinguished awards. He has shared his experiences/best practices as a top international speaker believing that, “A decent paying job that provides real opportunity is the very best social program on any Rez!”

Would you like to reach CHIEF LOUIE?

7051 Mccallan Rd
Richmond, BC V7C 2H6
+778 838-8540