A new Tim Hortons in north Regina has more meaning than just a place for people to grab a cup of coffee.
The coffee shop, located in the Saulteaux Crossing Business park on Pinkie Road, is the only First Nations owned franchise in the city of Regina.
Sakimay First Nation Chief Lynn Acoose said they have been in talks with their partner, Doyle Hospitality, since early on to ensure Indigenous people will play a significant role in the business. Seventy-five per cent of employees at the shop are Indigenous.
“Not only as counter staff but supervisors and management so they are grooming our people to eventually manage our store here,” Acoose said. “We want to create opportunities for our people to have work on (the) reserve.”
Acoose also said the restaurant provides a great employment opportunity for students.
One of the people taking advantage of the opportunity is Keri Ponace, who is being trained to be a supervisor at the location.
“It’s just being a part of reserve, my people and also leading Aboriginal people here is what we’re trying to do here,” Ponace said.
She said the council has been doing a lot to help people on the band and move into the future.
Ponace said she was excited right from the start for the chance to work on Sakimay land.
This is the second Tim Hortons to be owned by a First Nations band in the province, with the first one being in Fort Qu’Appelle.