Clarence Louie

Since 1985, when first becoming Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band in British Columbia, Clarence Louis has consistently emphasized economic development as the fundamental method for improving his people’s standard of living. Under his direction, the Band has become a multi-faceted corporation that owns and manages numerous successful businesses. In addition to the businesses, the band is enjoying socio-economic development that is vastly improving the community’s social, educational and health needs. Under his leadership, there is virtually zero unemployment. The band continues to increase its revenue each year and decrease its need for social assistance. Chief Louis created and manages eight businesses, including, a golf course, a construction company that builds both on and off reserve commercial and residential projects, a forestry company that logs 30,000 cubic metres annually, the largest privately owned vineyard in Canada, a convenience store, and a residential and agricultural leasing company. One of the bands largest projects has been its eco-tourism resort campground and RV Park that includes a marina and a 120-room full service hotel and gas bar. The cash flow generated from the businesses helps fund the Medication Fund, the Adult In-Home Care Program, a Recreation Complex, an Education Fund and a Patient Travel Fund. Ecology remains a high priority for Chief Louie with 890 acres set aside for water quality, fish and wildlife protection. Chief Louis has been recognized for his work with many honours and has extensive board memberships. He has been featured in The Economist, in Profit Magazine and in Maclean’s as one of 50 Canadians to Watch. Chief Louis is a man who understands that economic development is the way of the future.