Enderby, BC: Two Splatsin owned businesses have been honoured by the BC Achievement Foundation. Yucwmenlúcwu, a growing forestry, archeology and environmental services company, took home top prize in the ‘Community Owned’ category. Quilakwa Investments Ltd., which runs the popular Esso gas station and gift shop off Highway 97 south of Enderby, was a runner-up in the same category. The award will be handed out on October 15th in Vancouver at a gala with over 600 attendees.
“This award celebrates the important journey we are on as Secwepemc people. In 1910 Memorial to PM Laurier our ancestral Chiefs said, ‘…we want to have an equal chance with them of making a living’. This is what we are doing in 2018 making a living off our lands as Caretakers of the Land”, says Splatsin Chief Wayne Christian.
“YUCWMENLÚCWU means ‘Caretakers of the Land’ and this company is a source of pride for our people as our members are out on the land doing important archeological and environmental stewardship work”. As for having two companies receive recognition Chief Christian is pleased, “To have a second company be named runner-up demonstrates that our community is moving in the right direction. Our gas station has been a fixture in our community for over 30 years and with the new building winning awards, the Tim Horton’s and the addition of a car wash, our future is bright”.
Company President Les Skaalid has seen the evolution of the business over a 10-year time period. “When I was first hired by the Band, it was just myself, a desk and a part-time assistant. Now we have over 25 employees and are having a hard time keeping up to the demand in the marketplace”. “We’ve developed a strong reputation with our clients for providing quality work in a manner that integrates Splatsin culture and environmental values. We are excited about the future growth opportunities in this industry”. The company is currently maxed out on office space and is looking to find more space in the spring, “It’s a good problem to have”, says Skaalid.
Yucwmenlúcwu (Caretakers of the Land) is a cultural and natural resource management company
that provides a complete range of environmental, archaeology, and forestry services. With a highly skilled team of professionals and certified technicians, it manages and delivers government, industry and private sector projects from concept to completion with the highest level of standards at every stage.
Quilakwa Investments Ltd. operates a full-service gas station on Highway 97a south of Enderby. The station is complete with a Tim Horton’s, double-bay car wash, Native art gallery and office space.