Toosey First Nation’s Chilcotin Plateau Enterprises Ltd. is the recipient of the 2016 Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) Leadership Award.
On Thursday, Oct. 20, Toosey Band councillor Clay Palmantier and forestry and economic development manager Craig Kennedy accepted the award at a banquet in Banff, Alberta.
The $5,000 award — presented by CCAB and the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) — 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.
Kennedy said Chilcotin Plateau Enterprises was started in 1996 and today employs 30 people.
The company consists of a silviculture layout crew, a traffic control division, a mobile treatment centre, four five-pack fire crews, and owns equipment for building roads.
In the past two years Chilcotin Plateau Enterprises Ltd. has been busy renovating the former Riske Creek School on the Stack Valley Road where it runs a sawmill and offers training courses.
“Right now we have 16 students taking a four-month heavy equipment operator industrial trade program at the school,” Kennedy said. “It is being administered by the Southern Interior Construction Association and Velocity Training.”
Congratulating Chilcotin Plateau Enterprise Ltd. and the Toosey Indian Band, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business president and CEO JP Gladu said the company 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,” Gladu said.
It is the seventh time the award has been presented.
“FPAC is pleased to recognize the entrepreneurial nature of this Aboriginal company,” said 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.”