Photo above: Chief Patrick Michell proudly shows off the Indigenous Business of the Year Award won by the Kanaka Bar Band. Photo by NONI MCCANN
Awardees of the Tenth Annual B.C. Indigenous Business Awards were honoured at a Gala Dinner ceremony on Oct. 15 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver where more than 650 people gathered to celebrate excellence in Indigenous business in British Columbia.
Kanaka Bar Indian Band Chief Patrick Michell represented Kanaka Bar Land and Resource LP to receive the award for Community-Owned Business of the Year.
"The BC Indigenous Business Awards' program has elevated over 170 outstanding businesses from throughout the province for the past 10 years,” said Scott McIntyre, Foundation Chair. “As we mark this important decade of excellence and look to the future, the 2018 cohort of awardees lead the way as examples of entrepreneurship, commitment and extraordinary vision, all of which play a key role in the strength of our provincial economy. Congratulations on your achievements and thank you for inspiring us all."
To be eligible for this award, businesses must be 100 per cent community-owned. This award acknowledges one or more businesses owned by a community, with the intention of building a strong economic foundation for community members. This award recognizes business achievement in two sub categories: a single corporate entity, and two or more corporate entities.
Kanaka Bar Land & Resources (KBLR) Limited Partnership is the parent entity, which owns four sub entities or companies on behalf of Kanaka Bar Indian Band.
KBLR's decision-making is done through its directors and implementation is done through the Chief Operations Officer (COO). This separation allows for
1. transfer of risk to a legal entity so that “business” liability for staff, council and the band membership is reduced.
2. a shift thinking from INAC-based criteria to "business thinking" which can increase the community's ability to move forward in generating desired returns like self-performance, employment and independency
3. creation of new revenue streams (aka own source revenues) or OSR.
KBLR is currently working on a diagram which will show the holistic approach that it has undertaken.
Given the overlap, the operations of Kanaka are not performed in silos so the three Kanaka entities meet every first Monday and every third Thursday to go over respective mandates and work together to maximize returns and reduce inefficiency and redundancy of operations.
“Communication is always critical,” according to the Kanaka Bar Band. “It is hard to articulate but working separately and together at the same time creates a synergy and excitement that never existed before. There is so much that can be done at Kanaka and with all the land, the people and resources available and the entities to help everyone get it done, what is done next can only be a success.”
Current businesses operating at Kanaka Bar Band include: Kanaka Bar Land & Resources LP, Kwoiek Creek Resources Inc., Siwash Watershed Resources Inc., Kanaka, Land & Holdings Ltd., Kanaka Bar Employment Services Ltd., Annual General Meetings, Solar Power, Wind