Local First Nations company wins two prestigious awards
Tipi Mountain Native Plants (TMNP), a majority owned aboriginal company, is one of the premier native plant nurseries in British Columbia, and is located just outside Cranbrook.
From custom seed harvesting to reclamation work, the company is focused on providing native plant material which is local to our province’s varied ecosystems. They are dedicated to growing plants that will protect natural environments, and enhance biodiversity.
Over the years, 90 different native plant species have been grown by the business. TMNP believes that development should be ecologically appropriate, and that a key means of reducing environmental impact from development is re-planting indigenous species. Because of this philosophy Tipi Mountain Native Plants owners, Robert Williams and Michael Keefer, were awarded The Full Circle Award in November from the Society of Ecological Restoration (SER).
This international award is given in recognition of restoration projects that incorporate the traditional knowledge of indigenous peoples in significant ways and reflect a balance between indigenous and non-indigenous knowledge and techniques in the project’s design and implementation. SER is dedicated to reversing this degradation and restoring the earth’s ecological balance for the benefit of humans and nature.
The second honour is the BC Aboriginal Business Award for Outstanding Business Achievement – Business of the Year (10 or more person enterprise). The fifth annual British Columbia Aboriginal Business Awards were announced by Premier Christy Clark and Keith Mitchell, Chair of the BC Achievement Foundation at a gala celebration on December 5 at the Westin Bayshore. The BC Aboriginal Business Awards are presented by the BC Achievement Foundation in partnership with the Ministry of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation, and generously supported by New Relationship Trust, BC Hydro, Teck, Encana, Spectra Energy and MNP.
General manager Bonnie Castle-Dixon is thrilled to have such recognition bestowed upon the company. “These acknowledgments complement all the hard work our employees have accomplished over the years, and showcases what can be achieved when people are passionate about their trade. These awards are icing on the cake as the company is also extremely proud about the successful completion of its Native Plant Horticulture Training Program,” she said.
This one-of-a–kind program wrapped up Friday, December 6 at the Ktunaxa Nation Council building in Cranbrook. Students who graduated from the program received a certificate from Royal Roads University to honour their achievement.
Participating students completed a rigorous five-month curriculum (including hands-on, as well as in-class tutelage) where they learned all aspects of operating a native plant nursery. This program was graciously funded by the BC Aboriginal Mining and Training Association, the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia, and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and without their support would not have been possible.
To find out more about the company, please visit www.tipimountain.com on your desktop or smartphone.
To contact the business directly, or to see how you or your company can purchase native plant species please call Bonnie Castle-Dixon at 250-427-7010 or [email protected].