CEO, Osoyoos Indian Band Development Corporation
Since December 1984 when he was first elected Chief of the Osoyoos Indian Band, part of the Okanagan Nation in south central British Columbia, Clarence Joseph Louie has consistently emphasized economic development as a means to improve his people’s standard of living.
For over thirty years, under his direction, the Band has become a multi-faceted corporation that owns and manages eleven businesses, and five joint ventures and employs approximately one thousand people.
Other achievements under Chief Louie’s tenure include the negotiated settlement of three Specific Land Claims, the acquisition of hundreds of acres of land to add to the reserve, the initiation of the Osoyoos Indian Taxation By-law, the financing and building of a new pre-school/daycare and grade school/gymnasium, construction of a new Health Center/Social Services building and in 2008 the building of a 1st class Youth Centre. The Osoyoos Indian Band has modeled not only sustainable business development, but also socio-economic development, whereby the community’s social needs are improved.
Chief Louie believes that job creation and increasing business revenue in a responsible manner will bring back what he describes as, “our First Nation working culture, the self-supporting lifestyle of our ancestors.”
Chief Louie’s efforts have been widely recognized in Canada and the United states. To highlight a few, in 2006, he received the Order of British Columbia, followed by the Order of Canada in 2016. He was also inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame on June 19, 2019.
Chief Clarence Louie is invited regularly to share his experiences and best lessons learned with First Nations people and Government & Corporate agencies across the U.S. and Canada, as well as overseas.