Warrior Plumbing

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.


Culture Shock Life

Andrea Cranmer and her sister Donna Cranmer are the owners of Culture Shock Life. 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

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.

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

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.

Chief David Jimmie

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 in partnership with GBH

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.   

Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and the City of Kamloops

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.  

DIVERSEcity - Surrey Local Immigration Partnership

The Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP), funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and run by DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society, started the process that led to the creation of the Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers years ago, with the intention of addressing the lack of educational resources about First Peoples in Canada, created from an Indigenous perspective. The first of its kind in Surrey, the 46-page guide provides information on histories and current challenges of Indigenous, Métis, and Inuit people in Canada, and addresses common misconceptions and stereotypes about the First Peoples, and also celebrates Indigenous brilliance and excellence. Led by Jeska Slater from the Fisher River Cree Nation and her team at Littlecrane Consulting, with illustrations and graphic design by the team at Nahanee Creative, the guide uses a community-centered approach to amplify the stories of land-based Nations, urban populations, and Indigenous champions.  

The Guide represents a clear indication of the LIP’s alignment with the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which provides a roadmap to advance truth and reconciliation in Canada. This includes addressing common misconceptions about the First People of this land, a key step in the important work of building solidarity between the Indigenous and newcomer communities in Surrey. Extensive research and a series of community conversations were facilitated to create the resource through roundtables bringing Newcomer and Indigenous communities together, while working closely with several Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders, including Chief Harley Chappell of the Semiahmoo First Nation and Chief Marilyn Gabriel of the Kwantlen First Nation amongst others, as a fulfillment of LIP’s vision to sustain the work of building solidarity. As Len Pierre from the Katzie First Nation writes in the forward for the guide, “The importance of documents like this First Peoples Guide…is a progressive step in the right direction towards learning, understanding and respecting the original and First Peoples of the lands you now call home.” The guide is available through LIP’s website and is offered in multiple languages, making it accessible to all. 

Kwuntiltunaat - Kim Baird

KwuntiltunaatKim Baird is an accomplished leader, a respected advocate for Indigenous people, and is nationally recognized for her work in reconciliation. She is a graduate of Kwantlen Polytechnic University, receiving the Distinguished Alumni award in 2012 and currently serves as the University’s Chancellor. Kim’s life work has provided a foundation that will create the opportunity for the process of reconciliation to exist/thrive. This includes acknowledging that First Nations have a right to self-determination, a quality of life equal to all and in partnership with all people.  

At the age of just 28 years old she was the elected Chief of the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN). She held this important position for six terms, from 1999-2012. In that role Kim’s most notable achievements towards reconciliation took place. On behalf of TFN she negotiated BC’s first urban modern treaty, which came into effect on April 3, 2009. The treaty provided unprecedented benefits and opportunities, and her leadership contributed to TFN being one of the most progressive First Nations in Canada. She says, “true reconciliation” means “no longer being tethered to the Indian Act, and gaining access to financial resources and economic opportunities, and to services and programs for TFN members.”  

In the spirit of the BC Reconciliation Award, she believes that respect must go beyond Aboriginal rights and title. It needs to be reflected in laws, policies and in the operations of government and the courts. To support this ongoing quest, Kim now runs her own consulting firm and continues to share her expertise on many public and private boards, working tirelessly to serve her community in both official and unofficial capacities.