Working Together Produces Lasting Benefits
Tŝideldel Enterprise is a joint-venture logging company owned by Tŝideldel First Nation and Tolko Industries Ltd. In the early 1990s, Tolko’s predecessor companies were looking for reliable access to timber. Simultaneously, Tŝideldel was interested in expanding their economic interests and to be actively involved in logging operations happening within their territory. Built on a shared vision and mutual interests, the 50/50 joint-venture partnership has developed over decades and brings benefits to both parties.
Tŝideldel First Nation – both its business and the community – have benefited tremendously from the partnership. Tŝideldel developed leadership and business skills necessary to run a successful enterprise. They have increased their assets, including growing their fleet of equipment and acquiring a forest licence. In 2011, Tŝideldel was producing 100,000 cubic metres of wood fibre. Today, the joint venture operates over 350,000 cubic metres, with $20 million in gross revenue.
Prosperity from the partnership has also percolated into the larger community and region. Tŝideldel has diversified with a number of other joint-ventures, which has improved local and regional employment. They now hire contractors from around the region, both Indigenous and non-Indigenous, and some community members have been able to start their own businesses. Tŝideldel also manages forest licences for other Nations.
For Tolko, the partnership has not only meant access to wood fibre, but also to a solid local workforce, and the partnership has helped to open doors to working with other Nations. The company has a policy for equal employment opportunities and to look for opportunities to work directly with Nations.
The partnership between Tŝideldel First Nation and Tolko Industries was recognized as the Industry Business Partnership of the Year with the BC Aboriginal Business Awards in 2016.