Burns Lake Native Development Corporation
The Burns Lake Native Development Corporation (BLNDC) exists to enhance the economic well-being of the Aboriginal people of Northern British Columbia’s Lakes District.
Co-owned by 6 local First Nations, BLNDC provides a broad spectrum of economic/business development services including training, employment search, grant assistance, loan provision and counseling, business plan development, entrepreneur development, and assistance with community economic development planning. BLNDC also has event and meeting space available for rental which has been recently renovated and is proud to showcase and sell creations by local Indigenous artists.
BLNDC is an umbrella organization owned by and serving 6 local First Nations: Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation (Burns Lake Band), Lake Babine Nation, Skin Tyee Band, Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Nee Tahi Buhn Band, and Wet’suwet’en First Nation. The 6 Nations have a collective population of 3,634 members – Lake Babine Nation is the largest at 2,547 members.
BLNDC was incorporated in 1974. George Brown (BCANSI Local 123), Ted Lowley (Lake Babine Band), Peter John (Burns Lake Band), Abel Peters (Cheslatta Band), Durban Skin (Omenica Band), and Vincent Morice (BCANSI Local 123), each of whom represented the local Aboriginal communities, are recognized as the organization’s Founding Fathers and were the inaugural members of BLNDC’s board of directors.
The incorporation coincided with the start-up of Babine Forest Products Company (BFP), of which BLNDC owns 10.53% between its 6 communities. Over the decades, BLNDC has ventured into many businesses: small business lending, logging, construction, fish farming, machine shop, silviculture, and remanufacturing. Small business lending and logging (wholly-owned Burns Lake Native Logging Ltd.) have endured since the 1974 start.
Burns Lake Native Logging Ltd. (BLNLL) was incorporated under the British Columbia Company Act on January 8, 1975, and has maintained a strategy of conservative growth and development. The business strives to achieve a high standard of performance in the public and industrial sectors as an outstanding and highly qualified log harvesting operation, strictly and conscientiously adhering to guidelines and safety regulations. BLNLL generates regular Logging Safety Program Guidelines and its employees participate in regular safety meetings. As a prime contractor, BLNLL has adhered to the EMS/SMF for BFP and is registered with the BC Forest Safety Council.
Burns Lake Native Logging Ltd. has recently been named as the Prime Contractor for Ts’il Kaz Koh First Nation with the Coastal Gaslink Project.
Babine Forest Products & Decker Lake Forest Products BLNDC, in partnership with majority owner Hampton Lumber operates two sawmills in Burns Lake. The sawmills have a combined production capacity of 335 MMBF (millions of board feet of timber), and are operated with a constant emphasis on safe and productive employment for our community.
BLNDC is constantly looking for new opportunities for its communities and has also just entered into a partnership with Nations Cannabis for a local medicinal marijuana plant. Construction to commence Spring of 2019 – stay tuned for further updates.