Resilience and the Indigenous Economy

Modern Indigenous economies are revitalizing traditional practices, developing new skills, and helping share knowledge between communities. And there’s no better place to look to see examples of this than the Indigenous Business Award (IBA) program, now in its 12th year of honouring and recognizing business excellence.  

Indigenous businesses like those recognized through the IBA program, provide goods and services to their local communities, create employment opportunities for Indigenous people and serve as leaders, mentors and trailblazers for others seeking to create their own business. 

Indigenous businesses are leading the way in building a stronger economy in Canada and BC. A pre-COVID report from RBC this spring found that the number of Indigenous business owners was growing at five times the rate of self-employed Canadians. And Indigenous women were becoming entrepreneurs at twice the rate of non-Indigenous women. Indigenous businesses are expected to grow exponentially and continue to be a powerful force in the provincial economy.  

The Indigenous Business Awardees announced this week serve as examples of resilience and innovation during this tumultuous year. With their tenacity and hard work, Indigenous businesses will continue to be a driving force in British Columbia. 

BC Achievement applauds these exceptional businesses and the people who share in their success. Congratulations to the 2020 Indigenous Business Awardees! 

Longhouse Media serves local, national and international clients. Longhouse provides customers with synergistic digital solutions that add value to businesses and personal brands.  Awarded Young Entrepreneur of the Year. 

Raven Reads is designed as a safe space to learn about other cultures, about history and to discover beautifully crafted products made by Indigenous entrepreneurs from around the globe through the use of Subscription Boxes.  Awarded Business of the Year – one-to-two person enterprise. 

Sḵwálwen is an Indigenous business creating botanical skin care products based on Indigenous Plant Science and honouring traditional plant knowledge.  Awarded Business of the Year – three-to-ten person enterprise.  

OneFeather Technologies  is an Indigenous technology company  that offers digital services for modern nation-building including election and voting services, data sovereignty, community engagement, and now a full suite of banking solutions for the individual.  Awarded Business of the Year – 11+ person enterprise. 

Alkali Resource Management (ARM) is an integrated forest management company that was established in 2001 to manage the forest licenses, woodlot and community forest on behalf of Esk’etemc (Alkali Lake).  Awarded Community-Owned Business of the Year – one entity. 

Lil’wat Holdings Limited Partnership is the holding company for all the economic development companies of  Lil’wat Nation (known as Lil’wat Business Group).  Awarded Community-Owned Business of the Year – two or more entities. 

Nupqu is a full-service resource consulting company owned by the communities of the Ktunaxa Nation.  Awarded Business Partnership of the Year. 

Outstanding Business Achievement is awarded to Top of the Line Catering, for their traditional First Nations catering business in Burns Lake.  

The IBA program was launched in 2008 to honour and celebrate business excellence and has recognized over 200 remarkable businesses within its alumni.  

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