The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) are pleased to announce that Stuwix Resources Joint Venture from the interior of British Columbia has won the FPAC-CCAB Aboriginal Business Leadership Award. The company, represented by Chief David Walkem, RPF, was honoured today at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
The 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.
Stuwix Resources Joint Venture is a tenure holder and forest management company wholly owned by eight First Nations Bands: Cooks Ferry, Coldwater, Lower Nicola, Nooaitch, Shackan, Siska, Upper Similkameen, and Upper Nicola. The venture employs six fulltime staff, of which five are Aboriginal, and works alongside 89 local businesses across its supply chain, of which 23 are local Aboriginal entrepreneurs.
"FPAC is excited to recognize Stuwix Resources for their outstanding business leadership. They are committed to their local community and understand the value and contribution that Aboriginal businesses make in the sector," said David Lindsay, President and CEO of FPAC. "Their commitment to full-fibre utilization and value-added products is the future of forestry. Business innovation, sustainable forest management and community engagement are what make Stuwix Resources an exemplary employer."
"CCAB is thrilled that Stuwix Resources has won this prestigious award. They understand the value of partnering and contributing to local Aboriginal business within their community," said JP Gladu, President and CEO of CCAB. "Stuwix Resources also incorporates First Nations cultural and traditional practices within their forestry operations, meaning that local values are imbedded into Stuwix'sstrategic forest management plans. Stuwix Resources leads with integrity, and that is why they deserve this honour."
Stuwix Resources has generated gross revenue of $97 million from 2005 to 2012, and all of their tenure lands are third-party certified to the Sustainable Forestry Imitative (SFI) standard. StuwixResources financially contributes to several Aboriginal community events, causes and charities.
"On behalf of Stuwix Resources, it is incredibly rewarding to see our company, and the dedication of our staff and Board, being recognized for our commitment to sustainable management of the land, while working with our customers to find innovative ways to utilize a renewable resource," said Chief David Walkem. "With our commitment to incorporating our cultural values into forest management practices, we see a profitable and sustainable future for our communities and membership in the revitalized forest products industry."
The forest products industry in Canada is one of the largest employers of Aboriginal workers.
This is the fifth time the FPAC/CCAB Aboriginal Forest Products Business Leadership Award has been presented. The Skills Award for Aboriginal Youth was recently announced, and the winner will be awarded in the fall of 2014.
FPAC is the voice of Canada's forest producers nationally and internationally in government, trade and environmental affairs. Canada's forest products industry is a $58-billion dollar a year industry that represents 11% of Canada's manufacturing GDP. The industry is one of Canada's largest employers, operating in hundreds of Canadian communities and providing more than 230,000 direct jobs across the country.
The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) was founded in 1984 by a small group of visionary business and community leaders committed to the full participation of Aboriginal people in Canada's economy. A national nonprofit organization, CCAB offers knowledge, resources and programs to both mainstream and Aboriginal owned member companies that foster economic opportunities for Aboriginal people and businesses across Canada.