By: Martin Cash
Winnipeg Free Press
The Manitoba Metis Federation have teamed up with Norway House Cree Nation to open the first of what might become many aboriginal-owned pharmacies.
An agreement is in place to open another at Sagkeeng First Nation and MMF president David Chartrand said the MMF has been talking to aboriginal groups across Canada and into the U.S. about further expansion.
One outlet of the MMF-owned MEDO Care Pharmacy has been open at the MMF headquarters on Henry Street in Winnipeg for more than a year.
Chartrand said they believe operational systems and enough market intelligence is now in place to allow the enterprise to expand.
He said the marketing advantage that the MEDO Care pharmacy could have is that the community members who patronize the pharmacies will receive direct benefits — through a MEDO affinity card but as well as through individual dividends and re-investment of profits back into the respective communities.
There is huge market in providing pharmacy services to aboriginal people. Chartrand said the first three stores — Henry St., Norway House and Sagkeeng — could generate as much as $60 million in revenue over a 10-year period.