Updated: Oct 19, 2018
Last night was the 10th Annual BC Indigenous Business awards. It's the 7th year in a row that I've had the pleasure of surrounding myself with inspiring aboriginal entrepreneurs. This year was extra special for me, in particular. Last year, I was hired as the female voice of the awards. How surreal to be sitting in a room of over 600 people and hear my voice fill the room! As a former recipient of an award in 2011 for my floral design business, I am also the official florist for the BC Achievement Awards so the room contained my designs. I had decided that the awards was going to be my official "coming out" (for lack of a better term) to formally introduce Aboriginal Buzz to the indigenous business community. And as a presenter on stage where I was introduced by Grace Dove and Linsay Willier with the above description of my professional achievements, it was timed to perfection, thanks to Cathryn, Ida, Rup and the rest of the team at the BC Achievement Foundation.
As we moved through the evening a few things stand out. Chief Gordon Planes of T'Sou-ke First Nation received an award for Individual Achievement. As he spoke, many people held on to this particular phrase "I believe we need to get in the same canoe and paddle together. The opportunity is now." He was speaking about our relationship with the government, saying in the end our biggest asset is our youth, which is why we need to take care of our environment and teach our young people.
Another stand out was Chief Patrick Michele of the Kanaka Bar Land and Resource who won for a Community Owned Entity. He didn't hold back. Band members work for businesses that are owned by the band. If they show up late for work, they get sent home. It was this and other "tough love" approaches that makes them successful and those who work for their bands businesses.
All in all, another successful evening of celebrating aboriginal entrepreneurship (complete with my husband Brent, who had the lucky side dish 2 years running who was the table "uncle" to keep our table in check!). In the words of Judith Sayers, Director of the BC Achievement Foundation, "Here's to another 10 years of Indigenous business success!" Remember, the success of these awards depend on people nominating deserving businesses. So, please, if you know of any aboriginal owned business, nominate them!
* Shoes courtesy of Alicia's Designs
* Frog Shawl courtesy of Chloë Angus Design