Photo contributed Children of the Little Shuswap Lake Indian band enjoy their new playground, which opened on June 14 as the result of a partnership between Interfor, Arrow Transportation and the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band.

Playground paves way for partnership

  • Jul. 28, 2017 1:30 a.m.

Tim Bell never imagined he’d be signing partnership agreements because of a playground, nor that the agreements would be with one of the largest lumber companies in the world and a small First Nation community in the Shuswap.

“I’ve learned in my career to always expect the unexpected,” said Bell, Arrow’s vice-president of trucking operations. “But this is probably the first time I’ve gone into a four-way partnership to deliver on a project without any agreement in place.”

The new leadership in the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band had been working to reopen relationships with industry partners, specifically to help the band realize the benefits of its provincial forest licence.

“We were looking for companies whose approach to partnerships extends beyond what we see in typical resource-development agreements,” said band economic-development advisor Leonard Jackson of his BCT Projects company. “We asked several forestry companies to pitch concepts for working together.”

Enter Brad Bennett, Interfor’s woodlands manager. Within a couple of conversations, Bennett and Jackson brought Bell into the discussion.

“Interfor had been attempting to engage with the Little Shuswap Lake Indian Band for a long time with little success, but we knew the current chief and council were looking for companies with whom to partner on their forestry project,” Bennett said. “Having worked with Arrow on other projects, and knowing the company’s commitment to Aboriginal engagement, we knew we wanted Arrow in the room with us from the start.”

When Interfor, Arrow and the band sat down for the first time, the goal was getting to know one another. Specific business was off the table and, instead, initial discussions focused on whether the people in the room felt there was a cultural fit. Little Shuswap Lake Coun. Dale Tomma recalls talking to Bell, Bennett and Jackson about the importance the band’s leadership places on progressive development.

“As leaders, one of our jobs is to get out into other communities to look at what they are doing to spur economic development,” Tomma said. “I happened to mention a place I’d visited where the mill had recently built a recreation facility. This, in a small community where people were already benefiting from the mill economically through employment. What I saw there was how the community now came together socially in the beautiful space the company had created.”

Bell said they had been discussing the importance of companies recognizing lasting relationships are not just built on revenue sharing.

“We knew Dale wasn’t telling us that story because she wanted us to build a playground, even though we know there isn’t one in the community and we know that kids bike down a busy, dangerous highway to Chase to play,” Bell said.

Bell, Bennett and Jackson walked out of the meeting and knew they were building a playground anyway, a playground that opened on June 14.

“We’ve partnered with several First Nations communities on different projects, all unique and all mutually beneficial,” Bell said. “What makes this one special is that we all went into those initial discussions without a defined project or business goal in mind. And, while the immediate outcome is this playground — which isn’t even a part of the formal partnership agreements we’re working on — it’s representative of how we want to work together on what we hope will become long-term business relationships.”

The details of the resource-development partnerships are still being finalized. The parties are working towards revenue and employment agreements that will see the band sell timber volumes to Interfor. Arrow and Interfor will have an agreement to haul timber, not only from band land to the Adams Lake Mill, but also on other forestry projects. And they’ll do this in logging trucks they put on the road with the band through a joint-venture partnership.

-Kamloops This Week

Just Posted

Update: Police expand search in North Okanagan-Shuswap

Examination continues in Silver Creek, while another search happens between Salmon Arm and Enderby

Who is Curtis Sagmoen?

The Observer reveals what we know about the man attached to the Silver Creek property where human remains were found

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

Search at Silver Creek property enters third day

A portion of the property has been cordoned off with black landscaping fabric

Man in custody linked to Silver Creek property search

Police are not saying how this search is related to Curtis Wayne Sagmoen’s current criminal charges

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

A golden opportunity

Orthodontist offers sweet deal for the pocketbook

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Search ramps up for B.C. woman after dog, car found near Ashcroft

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Most Read