News & Events

BC Achievement Foundation Announces – 2016 Aboriginal Award Winners

2016 BC Aboriginal Business Awardees Announced

September 9, 2016

VANCOUVER – The awardees of eighth annual BC Aboriginal Business Awards were announced today by Premier Christy Clark and Keith Mitchell, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation, the presenting organization of the awards.

The honourees will be celebrated at a gala dinner ceremony on October 19, 2016 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver where the Honourable John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, will present the awards.

“Aboriginal entrepreneurship is vital to ensuring that all British Columbians benefit from our growing economy,” said Premier Christy Clark. “The awards shine a spotlight on the important and expanding role of Aboriginal business in BC while showcasing successful Aboriginal entrepreneurs from across the province.”

The BC Aboriginal Business Awards were launched in 2008 to honour and celebrate business excellence. A total of 15 Aboriginal businesses, entrepreneurs, partnership entities and community-owned enterprises will be recognized at this year’s gala dinner.

“The 2016 awardees represent entrepreneurial excellence in diverse and unique industries within British Columbia including law, communications, resource management, construction, entertainment, esthetics, landscaping and retail,” added Keith Mitchell.

Members of the 2016 jury panel include Michelle Corfield, Glen Ohs and Judith Sayers. The BC Aboriginal Business Awards are presented by the BC Achievement Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, and generously supported by New Relationship Trust, TD, Teck, BC Hydro, CN, Encana, Spectra Energy and MNPllp.

The BC Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed in 2003 by the Province of British Columbia to celebrate community service, arts, humanities and enterprise.

2016 BC Aboriginal Business Awardees
Business of the Year – one-to-two person enterprise: Big Bear Services Wildlife Monitoring, Moberly Lake
Outstanding Achievement: 4TR Ventures Ltd., North Thompson

• Business of the Year – three-to-10 person enterprise: Callison & Hanna Law, Vancouver
Outstanding Achievement: Tim Tom Construction, Dawson Creek

• Business of the Year – 10 or more person enterprise: Getumdone Contracting Ltd., Houston
Outstanding Achievement: Tla’amin Convenience Store, Powell River

• Community-Owned Business of the Year – one entity: Tk’emlups Petro Canada/Carwash, Kamloops
Outstanding Achievement: Gitxsan Safety Services Inc., Hazleton
Outstanding Achievement: Rupert Lawn & Garden, Prince Rupert

• Community-Owned Business of the Year – two or more entities: Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group, Fort Langley
Outstanding Achievement: Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation, Penticton

• Aboriginal – Industry Business Partnership of the Year: Tsi Del Del Enterprises Ltd., Chilanko Forks
• Aboriginal – Aboriginal Business Partnership of the Year: Northern Native Broadcasting (CFNR), Terrace

• Young Entrepreneur of the Year: Defy Hair and Esthetics, Kelowna
Outstanding Achievement: Alpha-Omega Productions, Kamloops

Detailed information about the awards and a list of past winners is posted on the foundation’s website at

Cathryn Wilson, Executive Director
BC Achievement Foundation
[email protected] | 604.261.9777

Penticton Indian Band Announces Nissan Dealership Coming to Its Satikw Crossing Development

PENTICTON, BC and OKANAGAN (SYLIX) TERRITORY, BC–(Marketwired – July 25, 2016) – The south Okanagan’s first Nissan auto dealership will open at the Penticton Indian Band’s Satikw Crossing development, Chief Jonathan Kruger and John Kot, owner of Nissan Penticton, announced today.

“I’m very honored and excited to work with the Penticton Indian Band and bring this fast moving automotive franchise to the Penticton community,” said Kot, who confirms lease negotiations are being finalized for the lease of a two-acre site.

“The Nissan lineup consists of very exciting vehicles and we look forward to the expansion of our operations to this beautiful area. The facility will boast a state of the art 16,000 square foot building with Nissans New Image program,” he added.

More than 30 full-time jobs are expected to be created at the dealership when it opens in mid-2017, and more jobs during construction. Infrastructure work by the Penticton Indian Band to service the site is expected to start within 60 days.

The interest and inquiries for the Satikw Crossing development, also know as the Channel Lands, has steadily increased since the completion of the bridge as there has been a number of businesses who have already contacted the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation.

“Signing our first commercial tenant at Satikw Crossing proves that when you build it, they will come. This is the culmination of a 22-year journey to resolve legal, environmental and financial hurdles to build an $8 million bridge to the future that links our economies with the broader region,” said Penticton Indian Band Chief Jonathan Kruger.

Chief Kruger went on to say that, “By building and financing the bridge and infrastructure on the Channel Lands we demonstrate our commitment to help Locatees develop their vision for the lands they own.”

The recently completed Satikw Crossing bridge, meaning “river crossing” in the Okanagan Sylix language, spans the Okanagan River Channel at Green Avenue in Penticton. The new five-lane bridge was financed by the Band to open up access for the first time to more than 140 acres (60 hectares) of prime development land adjacent to Highway 97 and the Penticton Regional Airport for residential, commercial, industrial and recreational uses.

“It is great to see the Nissan brand come to Penticton and strengthen the product offerings here to keep people and dollars in our region. This really shows the potential of the Satikw Crossing to bring new business opportunities and continued momentum to Penticton,” said Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit.

“Congratulations to the Penticton Indian Band for their continued success in their ongoing development which benefits not only the PIB but the entire South Okanagan region,” remarked Penticton MLA Dan Ashton.

The Penticton Indian Band, with the largest reserve lands in British Columbia, has seen a flurry of development activity over the past three years. In addition to the Satikw Crossing bridge and commercial development projects, the Band has recently completed the construction of two major state-of-the-art community facilities — Sqilx’w Community facilities and the PIB Outma Sqilx’w Cultural School — both valued at over $13 million. The new facilities are powered by geothermal energy.

Play Winery recently opened at the Band’s Skaha Hills development. The 550-acre resort-residential development overlooking Skaha Lake sold out its first phase and a majority of its second phase and will eventually see over 600 homes, vineyards, a winery, walking and cycling trails built on this exceptional parcel of land.

In total, the Band envisions more than $100 million in capital projects taking place on its lands within the next 10 years.

“I’d like to thank our Band Council and our community for providing support on economic initiatives such as the Satikw Crossing. We are committed to work with all of our Locatees in helping them succeed with their business and development ventures. The Penticton Indian Band will be one of the strongest engines in the region for economic growth,” said Chief Kruger.

In making today’s announcement, Chief Kruger also thanked the federal government for their contribution to the Satikw Crossing infrastructure project, and acknowledged the City of Penticton and the Province of BC for their support as approvals for construction were being sought.

Businesses interested in more information about development opportunities at Satikw Crossing can contact PIBDC Economic Business Development Officer Lesley Gabriel at (250) 492-3154 or [email protected], or visit

Satikw Crossing "Draft" Rendering Satik_R2-NE

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Chief Jonathan Kruger
    Penticton Indian Band
    Ph: 250-809-5108
    Email: [email protected]

    Dawn Russell
    Communications Coordinator
    Ph: 250-493-0048
    Email: [email protected]

Cando Announces 2015 Economic Developer of the Year Award – PIBDC, BC (Community Category)

2015 Cando Award Winners

November 6, 2015 – Edmonton, AB – One week ago, Cando (the Council for the Advancement of Native Development Officers) celebrated the many successes of Aboriginal Economic Development in Canada. The 22nd annual conference held in Toronto was an ideal location to bring together Aboriginal Economic Development Officers and key stakeholders from across the land. The theme for this year’s conference was “Investing in Aboriginal Economic Development”.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015 marked the opening ceremonies for the conference. From the downtown Chelsea Hotel, the conference began with a powerful opening prayer by Elder Gary Sault. Over 300 delegates heard from the Premier of Ontario, Honorable Kathleen Wynne and Chief M. Bryan LaForme from host First Nation, Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, among a number of honourary speakers.
“It is a testament to the work you do as Economic Development Officers and to the resiliency of Indigenous peoples”, said Premier Wynne in the supportive role of the province. Adding that the province had recently signed a historic Political Accord with Ontario Regional Chief Isadore Day and the Political Confederacy, and were moving forward on acting on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations.
The National Youth and Women in Business Panels, on Wednesday, October 28, 2015 were highly regarded by many of the delegates who heard from 6 inspiring Aboriginal youth and 4 leading Aboriginal business women from across the country.
Thursday, October 29, 2015, featured the President’s Dinner where the Economic Developer of the Year Awards were presented. The awards were based on votes from the delegates, after nominees from three separate categories made presentations earlier in the day. Cliff Fregin of New Relationship Trust won in the Individual EDO category; Jenny Laroqcue of Spirit Staffing & Consulting Ltd. won in Aboriginal Private Sector Business Category; and Chief Jonathan Kruger of Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation won in the Community category. The evening ceremonies were capped with the announcement of next year’s 23rd annual conference to be held in Whitehorse, Yukon.

About Cando
Cando is the only national organization that focuses on education and professional development for EDOs working in Aboriginal communities or organizations. Aboriginal controlled, community based, and membership driven. For more information, please contact, Aaron Samuel by email at [email protected].

Penticton Indian Band wins CCAB Economic Development of the Year Award

PIBDC exists to ensure the certainty of the Penticton Indian Band’s traditional values and provide a sustainable economic return.

“Congratulations to the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation for demonstrating the vision and courage in the world of business essential for business success,” said CCAB President and CEO JP Gladu. “The Aboriginal Economic Development Corporation of the Year Award proudly gives all Canadians an opportunity to learn more about Aboriginal business success and its role in creating business certainty and sustainable prosperity.”

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