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Profile: Chief Clarence Louie

More about some of the people from the 8th Fire TV series.



Clarence Louie is Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band, a community in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley, a position he has held since 1985.

He is one of Canada's most high profile Aboriginal leaders and has made a name for himself as a successful entrepreneur and a proponent of economic self reliance for the Aboriginal community.

Chief Louie believes that the future of the new generation lies in education, hard work and putting aside old grievances.

He was twenty-four years old and a graduate of Native studies when he began his first term as chief in the mid 1980's.

He wanted pull his reserve out of its poverty, and he concluded that the solution lay in diversified economic development.

Twenty-five years later, Chief Louie has built and attracted numerous businesses on the reserve. They range from the Nk'Mip Cellers (the first Aboriginal owned winery in North America), a golf course, a construction company and retail stores.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Minister of Finance, Jim Flaherty, often point to Chief Louie as an example of entrepreneurial spirit.

In 2007 he was appointed the chairperson of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board. He was reappointed last year.

He was listed as one of Maclean's magazine's "Top 50 Canadians to Watch" in 2003.

In 2011, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business inducted him into the Aboriginal Business Hall of Fame.


Osoyoos Indian Band