Page 3 - 2007_2008_Annual_Report

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O u r J o u r n e y F o r wa r d
In the early 1990s, the First Nations leaders of Saskatchewan saw the gaming industry as
an economic opportunity – one that would create a better tomorrow for its people.
RCMP officers shut down the Bear Claw Casino on White Bear First Nation near Carlyle,
SK, in 1993. This raid was the start to what was a highly contentious and emotional part
of the history between First Nations and the provincial government regarding gaming in
Saskatchewan. Ultimately it was resolved through an exemption by the federal government,
which led to the provincial 1995 Gaming Framework Agreement, and hence, SIGA was born.
By 1995, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) reached an agreement with
the Province of Saskatchewan. In that same year, SIGA was incorporated as the proponent
for First Nations gaming in Saskatchewan.
With approximately 500 employees and limited resources, SIGA opened four properties across
Saskatchewan in its inaugural year (1996) with the assistance of its First Nations owners:
Gold Eagle Casino, North Battleford
opened March 1, 1996
Northern Lights Casino, Prince Albert
opened March 7, 1996
Bear Claw Casino, White Bear First Nation
opened November 12, 1996
Painted Hand Casino, Yorkton
opened December 14, 1996
Eleven years later, SIGA opened its 5th casino, the Dakota Dunes Casino (Saskatoon),
on August 10, 2007. Over 10,000 patrons visited the casino on opening day.
Meanwhile, SIGA will be opening a sixth casino, the Living Sky Casino in Swift Current, in
December 2008. As part of SIGA’s reinvestment program, the organization with its business
partners is rebuilding in the Yorkton market, enhancing its product offering at the new
Painted Hand Casino in early 2009.
In just 12 years, SIGA has grown into the leading First Nations economic enterprise in
Saskatchewan, with revenues in excess of $191M and an employee base of well over 1,700.