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First Nations Trade Mission to Australia leads to new partnership for Native-owned Akana Group

HOUSTON, Texas — Native-owned agricultural equipment supplier Akana Group found kindred spirits in an Aboriginal construction and civil development contractor that executives met in Northern Territory, Australia during the recent First Nations Trade Mission. 

Executives at Houston-based Akana Group met with their counterparts at Rusca Group over the two-week trade mission, which focused on connecting U.S.-based Native-owned businesses with Indigenous-owned potential business partners in Australia.

The Native American contingent included 10 delegates, including Akana Group Managing Director Chad Johnson, who discovered representatives from the Rusca Group shared common interests and values. Particularly, Akana Group’s program for training agriculture equipment operators lined up with Rusca Group’s mentorship efforts, he said.

“Sometimes, you run into companies or people that just seem to ‘get it.’ There’s so much synergy between the two, you’d almost use the term ‘cut from the same cloth.’ Their intentions line up a lot with what we do,” Johnson told Tribal Business News. “It just worked out really nice. Even our colors kind of match, and I was chuckling about that…”