By: The Working Forest
The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) today presented the 2016 Aboriginal Business Leadership Award to Chilcotin Plateau Enterprise Ltd. (CPE) owned by the Toosey Indian Band.
The award was presented to Chilcotin’s Forestry & Economic Development Manager, Craig Kennedy, at the 2016 Aboriginal Economic Development Corporation Conference in Banff.
Chilcotin Plateau Enterprise, located near Williams Lake B.C., began as a silviculture company 20 years ago and has grown to 30 employees. It has multiple divisions including a sawmill, provides medics, drivers and contract fire crews and operates a training and recreation centre. The company has also worked on research projects with FPInnovations.
The $5,000 award celebrates Aboriginal entrepreneurs for their success in a forest products business that exemplifies business leadership, exceptional environmental and safety performance and the delivery of high-quality products and services. The award recipient must also demonstrate a long-term commitment to the Aboriginal community and Aboriginal employment.
“FPAC is pleased to recognize the entrepreneurial nature of this Aboriginal company,” says Derek Nighbor, CEO of FPAC. “Chilcotin Plateau Enterprise has not just grown and prospered but has also provided training to First Nations youth and provided advice and guidance to other First Nations interested in starting up a company. The dedication and initiative being shown by Chilcotin is truly an inspiration as the forest sector seeks to hire more workers from Aboriginal communities.”
The forest products industry is one of the largest employers of Aboriginal workers in Canada, and it is aiming to refresh its workforce with a particular focus on Aboriginal engagement through employment and business development.
“The CCAB congratulates Chilcotin Plateau Enterprise Ltd. and the Toosey Indian Band. CPE is a perfect example of the fast changing Aboriginal business dynamic in Canada today. Its innovation and entrepreneurial spirit is creating long term jobs and sustainable prosperity for the community and are most deserving of today’s recognition and celebration.” stated the President & CEO of the CCAB, JP Gladu.
“We are one of the smallest First Nation communities in Canada doing really big things,” says Craig Kennedy of Chilcotin Plateau Enterprise. “It is about networking with other First Nations communities and helping them to be part of something bigger as well. It is about being respectful to each other and I believe we as a company have achieved this and will continue to grow. Our community is very proud of this award.”
This is the seventh time that the Aboriginal Business Leadership Award has been presented. Two Skills Awards for Aboriginal Youth will be awarded by FPAC later this year.