Central Chilcotin Rehabilitation Ltd. (CCR) is a joint venture company owned by the Tŝideldel First Nation and the Tl’etinqox Government. The company was originally designed as a vehicle to source funding and coordinate projects, relying on established local contractors to deliver the work, thus strengthening business relationships within the Chilcotin. The company’s vision is to promote First Nations involvement in the forest management of their traditional territories, rehabilitating damaged forest stands, and enhancing long-term health of forests for future generations. Through CCR, the two First Nations are focusing on achieving their mission to coordinate and implement large-scale programs and forest initiatives within their traditional territories, while generating employment for locals, and supporting the local economy.
The company first received funding from Forest Enhancement Society of BC to reduce wildfire risk and rehabilitate mountain pine beetle forests near Alexis Creek. CCR is now working on projects with Natural Resource Canada and the ‘2 Billion Trees’ program, as well as a Shell Canada Carbon Initiative project. CCR is also negotiating long-term silviculture contracts with local forest companies and is involved in the upcoming Landscape Planning initiative with the Province of B.C. Today, CCR is recognized as an innovative and collaborative organization, a catalyst for creating new economic opportunities and as a leader that has proven its reliability in carrying out large-scale forest rehabilitation work.
Operated by the Sc’ianew First Nation M’i nuw’ilum Marina Inc. has two distinct narratives that are united by a commitment to community building. Since the 1970’s the marina has been at the heart of the Beecher Bay community. As the region’s population grew, the marina expanded to include 365 berths, a gas bar, convenience store, and restaurant. The operation continues to be an important revenue-generating enterprise that provides jobs in the community while acting as a gathering place for locals and tourists alike.
The second chapter of the marina’s story emerges from Sc’ianew First Nations urgent mission to protect the marine resources that have nourished coastal peoples since time immemorial. Part proactive business development, part conservation, and part reconciliation, the Nation has taken the lead on several partnerships to enhance marine shipping safety in the Salish Sea and establish a spill response base at Beecher Bay. Early construction commenced in 2020 with a spill response base that will significantly lower spill response times for the local area. Continued partnerships bring a fleet of spill response vessels, including tugs used for escort towage that have been honoured with the names of two elders of the Sc’ianew community.
Warrior Plumbing, a fully owned and operated Indigenous mechanical contracting company located in North Vancouver, has provided residential builders, developers and homeowner customers with turn-key plumbing, gas fitting and HVAC solutions across Greater Vancouver. Offering decades of combined expertise, Warrior gives its customers peace of mind through the design and installation of new mechanical systems, in-depth application, and technical services. Warrior’s track record of providing modern, sustainable, cost-efficient mechanical systems is second to none.
Attracting young Indigenous workers to the mechanical contracting profession is key driver for Warrior. The company offers a training program giving new staff an opportunity to gain the education and skills required to obtain their Red Seal certification and a well-paying career in the trades. Warrior is aligned with various causes the company believes in and prioritizes helping people within the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation ensuring its members stay safe and comfortable.
Andrea Cranmer and her sister Donna Cranmer are the owners of Culture Shock Interactive Gallery. Founded on a solid foundation of respect for ancestry and tradition, the gallery is 100% First Nations owned and operated and is deeply rooted in the rich traditions of the ‘Namgis people. Located in Alert Bay, Culture Shock is an important cultural ‘hub’ of the community, selling a range of exquisite and affordable Indigenous designed and produced jewellery and wearable art while showcasing the award-winning films of its late co-founder (and sister to Andrea and Donna) Barb Cranmer.
Supporting and developing Indigenous artists and craftspeople drives the unique business of Culture Shock which also operates an intimate café welcoming and enabling visitors and locals to interact with the owners, staff and each other. Culture Shock creates the space for the understanding and sharing of Indigenous knowledge with all who visit, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, and with those who live in the area.
dk Architecture, owned by David Kitazaki (Xaxl’ip), specializes in First Nations architecture. A client services-oriented business model ensures needs are translated into buildings that are sustainable with minimized operational costs and constructed within budget. dk Architecture’s goal is to assist First Nations with their cultural revival while providing a built environment that reflects each community’s unique identity.
A socially responsible firm, dk Architecture believes buildings influence people’s lives and people influence the design of buildings. Taking a holistic approach to design, dk Architecture is accountable for the impact of their work on people and the environment. Its success is built on trust, developing long term relationships, and completing projects that meet and exceed client goals. dk Architecture’s innovative designs take the vision of the community together with an understanding of how Indigenous communities utilize building spaces to create beautiful culturally and sustainably informed spaces.
Dark Arc Welding Inc. is a family-owned and operated business led by Dustin and Ashley Kucher. As owner-operators, they lead a strong team with a diverse suite of services and have recently established their business location in Dawson Creek. With a mission to deliver premier service while maintaining the highest level of safety, environment, and quality, Dark Arc Welding is recognized as a reliable business partner throughout the region.
The company engages local First Nations when they have staffing requirements offering hands on mentorship and training. Dustin still welds when needed while leading the management and dispatching of their crews. Ashley directs all company administrative matters and with a current staff of 34, they anticipate continuous growth in the coming months.
Sasuchan Development Corporation creates business opportunities for the benefit of Takla Nation members. Since its inception, it has delivered on its mission to create economic wealth, inspiring careers, sustainable employment, and business opportunities, as well as conduct all operations in a manner that respects Takla’s land, people, culture, and way of life.
Driven by its respect for the land, environment, and Takla members, Sasuchan Development Corporation set a goal to build a diverse, profitable, and sustainable portfolio of businesses, both within and outside Takla’s territory. Over the past five years, a number of successful business ventures in forestry and silviculture, mining, and real estate have met with success. With these ventures, Sasuchan Development Corporation has supported its Nation in achieving economic self-reliance, and related social and community goals, and actively facilitated prosperity for Takla Nation.
A collaborative leader, Chief David Jimmie lends his expertise to establish growth opportunities while serving his community and the organizations which sustain it. He is Chief and CEO of Squiala First Nation, President of the Stó:lō Nation Chiefs Council and President of Ts’elxweyéqw Tribe Management Limited. He also serves as Chair and Vice President of Finance for the Western Indigenous Pipeline Group and is the owner / operator as a licensed residential builder of DJC (DJimmie Construction). Before David was first elected Chief in 2009, DJC built 224 homes and 175 apartment units for communities in Chilliwack and Westbank. DJC is currently building 309 townhouse units and a 200-unit condo project at Base 10 in Chilliwack plus 108 townhouse units and a 215-unit condo project at Shelter Bay in Westbank. Chief Jimmie’s ability to forge relationships and bridge the gap between groups has created economic spinoffs and partnerships that have been valuable for each of the organizations he works with to diversify revenue streams.
With a Master in Business Administration from Simon Fraser University, Chief Jimmie’s efforts focus on creating partnerships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous groups. His traditional name, Lenéx wí :ót, meaning “One who works for the people”, embodies his leadership philosophy as he believes strong relationships are key to creating capacity for his people.
Chief Jimmie is a board member of the Chilliwack Hospital Foundation, the Sts’ailes Development Corporation and Tourism Chilliwack. He has served as co-chair of the AFN National Committee on Fiscal Relations with Canada, the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce, and the board of New Relationship Trust. Chief Jimmie’s commitment to inclusivity reflects his intent to unite the Indigenous and non-Indigenous worlds. A changemaker who leads by example, Chief Jimmie is an inspiration and mentor to everyone he aims to serve.
Atomic Cartoons demonstrated ground-breaking leadership in the production of the animated children’s series Molly of Denali, which airs on CBC Kids in Canada and GBH/PBS in the United States. The program follows the adventures of Molly Mabray, an inquisitive 10-year-old with cultural heritage from three Athabascan groups (the Gwich’in, Koyukon and Dena’ina), as she and her friends explore the epic surroundings and rich Indigenous culture of their fictional home in present day Alaska. Through the eyes of children, this series touches on deeply important topics such as colonialism and the legacy of residential schools, and every story told speaks to resilience, strength and compassion.
By celebrating stories of Indigeneity, family and community life, Molly of Denali provides an important platform to address racism, colonialism and reconciliation. The series champions diversity at every level and serves as an integral resource that every person – of all ages and backgrounds – can enjoy and learn from. Molly of Denali offers an entertaining and informative perspective that humanizes Indigenous experiences, while informing the next generations about cultural richness. It is also grounded in a trailblazing curriculum focused on informational text, a foundational aspect of literacy education. This provides a wonderful journey for children to learn, while also reinforcing hope in their lives.
By producing this series, Atomic Cartoons and GBH/PBS recognized the importance of including Indigenous perspectives at all levels. More than 60 Indigenous crew and advisors were recruited to work on the series – including writing, animation, direction, music and voice work – with many gaining their very first opportunity to secure work in entertainment. Atomic Cartoons has championed a growing movement to celebrate and acknowledge Indigenous voices in all their diversity. As our society understands that Indigenous peoples and cultures belong on television, we will all grow to understand that Indigenous voices belong in every dialogue.
The First Nation of Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc (TteS) and the City of Kamloops share a vision and commitment toward reconciliation through relationship building that spans multiple fronts and which has become a recognized example for others to follow. For more than a decade, efforts have been demonstrated through collaborative initiatives in areas of protocol, communication, community-to-community and knowledge-sharing meetings, cultural heritage, celebrations, and through shared service agreements including fire protection, transit, and sanitary sewer management. These opportunities are planned and initiated through transparent processes that acknowledge and celebrate commitments and sharing of TteS’s culture, values, and history to the wider public. One of the first official acknowledgements was the signing of the Statement of Political Relationship by the Mayor of Kamloops and TteS Chief in 1991. The ongoing relationship has paved the way for open and ongoing conversations about shared interests and concerns ever since.
The unique partnership approach has allowed both organizations to move toward repeatable successes at the community level by being open and responsive, recognizing that bumps along the way are opportunities to learn, and through building trust and shared understanding. The City of Kamloops and TteS are building enduring legacies: physical spaces (parks and trails) for the greater community to recreate together; culturally respectful and mutually beneficial infrastructure and infrastructure agreements; educating staff and officials in the Secwépemc language culture and history; offering community wide classes in the Secwépemc language; shared governance capacity building; honouring special events; and celebrating the relationship successes community wide. The strategic relationship between the City of Kamloops and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc provides inspiration through its growing successes. Future leaders can look to this relationship as a model and will have the benefit of building on the systems, legacies and precedents created.