Local aboriginal business recognized for joint ventures

Award winning Ts'elxweyeqw Tribe Management offers management services to their seven Chilliwack-based First Nations communities

A Chilliwack venture has been named ‘Joint Venture Business of the Year’ by the B.C. Aboriginal Business Awards next month in Vancouver.

Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe Management Ltd. has evolved from its roots as mainly forestry-based business a decade ago, into a multi-faceted management services provider representing seven First Nations communities in Chilliwack.

“We’re flattered to have won this award,” said Matt Wealick, chief operating officer for Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe Management.

Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe Management offers a range of management services to their seven member communities, as well as others, with an eye to protecting rights and title in the Chilliwack River Valley.

They actively protect and advance cultural values, and conduct land-use planning for their member communities which include: Aitchelitz, Skowkale, Skway, Soowahlie, Squiala, Tzeachten and Yakweakwioose.

“And out of that comes economic development opportunities,” he said.

They seek out joint ventures and partnerships, to work toward common goals.

“That’s the way we operate,” Wealick said.

They own and manage properties, and have worked on setting up a First Nations woodlot licence to manage timber resources. The business has worked with both industry and government clients, submitted independent power project proposals, and developed a renewable energy plan, as examples.

“We’re delighted to be honouring them in this way,” said Nora Newlands, executive director of B.C. Achievement Foundation.

The selection panel recognized the Chilliwack business for the “breadth” and variety of its ventures.

“The joint venture is becoming increasingly important to British Columbia,” she said.

The fact that Ts’elxweyeqw has grown and expanded despite market challenges was noted, along with the number of connections it has forged through partnerships.

“All of those elements contributed to their selection,” she said. The nomination of the local business came from UBC.

The honourees will be celebrated at a gala on Dec. 5 at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver.

The British Columbia Achievement Foundation is a foundation established and endowed by the province in 2003 to celebrate excellence and achievement in B.C. and Canada.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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