OTTAWA /CNW/ – At the inaugural Indigenous Economic Prosperity Forum, six companies were honoured with the National Aboriginal Capital Corporations Association (NACCA) Indigenous Business Awards of Excellence.
Nominated by Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs), these awards showcase the strength and resilience of First Nations, Inuit and Métis entrepreneurs across Canada. NACCA CEO Shannin Metatawabin is clear that, “by any standard, Indigenous entrepreneurs impact more than just the bottom line. All six winners have a substantial impact on their local community, not only through employment but the larger social impact of improved health, bringing pride to families, and building local economies.”
For the 2019 NACCA Indigenous Business Awards of Excellence there are four categories, and the first award was presented by the Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion. She proudly presented Shelley Stewart with the Indigenous Woman Entrepreneur Award of Excellence. Shelley, a member of the Upper Nicola Band in BC, owns and manages Bar S Ventures, which operates trucks and equipment in the logging industry.
The second award of the evening was for the Indigenous Community Business of the Year. This was presented by Mr. Michael Denham, CEO at BDC, to our co-winners Hôtel-Musée Premières Nations in Wendake QC, and Askiy Apoy Hauling located in Onion Lake Cree Nation on the border between Saskatchewan and Alberta.
Kendal Netmaker, from Sweetgrass First Nation in Saskatchewan, was awarded the Indigenous Youth Entrepreneur Award, presented by Susan Margles, Senior VP at Canada Post. Kendal owns and operates Neechie Gear as well as Netmaker Enterprises.
Our final category was Business of the Year and the two co-winners were presented their awards by Jay-Ann Gilfoy, CEO at Vancity Community Investment Bank. Faron and Tammy Calihoo received their award for Commanchero’s Trucking and Contracting Ltd based in Spruce Grove AB. Robert and Katherine Tebb, Métis entrepreneurs from Regina, took home the final award as owner/operator of Xtended Hydraulics & Machine.
The NACCA Indigenous Business Awards of Excellence represent an important milestone in the 59 AFIs’ history of working together coast-to-coast-to-coast to help their local communities. AFIs support Indigenous entrepreneurs, with over $100M in loans annually. Over 1250 businesses last year received financing and mentorship support.
NACCA is a network of Aboriginal Financial Institutions (AFIs) that provide financing and support to First Nations, Métis and Inuit businesses in all provinces and territories. NACCA works to build partnerships and develop economic growth for Indigenous people in Canada. NACCA is similar to BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada), but able to meet distinct needs of the Indigenous entrepreneurs. Learn more and download high-res photos of the winners at http://nacca.ca/awards