December 08, 2007

"We Welcome First Nations" with cash

Businesses eye natives' settlement moneyThe sign said "We Welcome First Nations," and it stood outside a Regina car dealership for three days before complaints from the public forced the owner to take it down last week.

The owner of AA Car World, who declined to give his name, said he was surprised by the negative reaction. His is just one of dozens of businesses trying to attract their share of the $1.9-billion being paid to survivors of residential schools, much of it destined to be spent on the Prairies and in the North.

"The whole of Saskatchewan knows this is going on with the residential schools money," the owner said. "Fifty per cent of our business is with these cultures, and we were just trying to say, 'Welcome, come on in, look around, meet our staff.' We have a First Nations fellow on staff and he knows a lot of them from the different communities. But they felt we targeted them and that was unfortunate."

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