About Us

Sault Tribe Thrive History

As a commitment to promoting a strong economic environment conducive to creating and sustaining profitable tribal businesses, the Sault Tribe established the Sault Tribe Thrive program to manage its efforts in connecting with Sault Tribe citizen business owners. Since its inception, under the direction of the Sault Tribe Board of DIrectors, Sault Tribe Thrive has offered business experience, and a long history in regional economic development.

Since December 2019, Sault Tribe Thrive has grown its business directory, connecting with more than 200 Sault Tribe citizen business owners. The program received its initial funding in 2019, with a two-year Minority Business Development Agency grant as well as additional support from the Sault Tribe.

Thanks to the assistance of key strategic partners, Sault Tribe Thrive has moved quickly to help tribal businesses grow. This includes providing business support and technical assistance for Sault Tribe Inc. owned startups and joint ventures, NationPoint, Chippewa Government Solutions, Hawkeye Facilties Maintenance, Sault Tribe Online Gaming, Ojibwe Contracting, and Ojibwe Hazardous Abatement, in addition to the develpoment of the Tribe’s nascent Tribal Business Chamber of Commerce, the Sault Tribe Business Alliance.

Through the foresight of the Sault Tribe Board of Directors, Sault Tribe Thrive is realizing its mission of diversifying the Tribal economy, implementing sound investments back into tribal communities, and improving the lives of tribal citizens near and at large.

Sault Tribe Thrive continues to grow, looking to the future, while never forgetting the rich economic history it is empowered to uphold. We are empowering economic prosperity for citizens of the Sault Tribe worldwide.


David Lockhart – Director of Business Development – Sault Tribe Thrive

Our Mission

Empowering prosperity for established and future business leaders
emerging from the Sault Tribe worldwide. We are a Minority Business
Development Agency grant-funded program positioned to build
partnerships, strengthen resources, educate tribal citizens and promote
their successes.

The Team

Sault Tribe Thrive operates under the Business Develpoment branch of the Sault Tribe EDC. 

David Lockhart

David Lockhart

Director of Business Development

Under the direction of the EDC Director, the Director of Business Development develops, coordinates and conducts outreach to Sault Tribe citizen owned businesses, marketing and advocating for Sault Tribe businesses and facilitating training on the benefits for tribal member businesses to return to Tribal Trust Land within the Tribe’s service areas.

David was hired by the Sault Tribe EDC in 2019 after serving as Internal Auditor for the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Throughout his more than 11 years of service with the Sault Tribe he has fulfilled roles in Accounting, Marketing, and Human Resources. David holds an M.S.A. degree in Information Resource Management from Central Michigan University.

David is an enrolled citizen of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He resides in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan with his wife, three children, and three cats.

Justin Emery

Justin Emery

Business Support Coordinator

Under the direction of the Director of Business Development, the Business Support Coordinator is responsible for collecting and organizing data for the Sault Tribe Citizen-Owned Business directory, as well as distributing information on promotional, educational, and funding opportunities for Sault Tribe Citizen-Owned Businesses.

Justin started out with the Sault Tribe in 2019. He holds an A.A. degree in Business Administration from Alma College.

Justin is an enrolled citizen of the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians. He resides in Sault Ste. Marie with his wife and their young son.

Partners Network

Sault Tribe Thrive utilizes in-house expertise, networked Sault Tribe business mentors, and partnerships with organizations via strategic alliance memoranda, in addtion to several other federal, state, and local resources.
Sault Tribe Business Alliance

Contact Sault Tribe Thrive for more info

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