Metlakatla Governing Councillor Robert Nelson Sr. welcomes the audience with a joke on April 26 at the Lester Centre during NABOC 2017. 380 delegates took part in this year’s business conference. Kevin Campbell photo.

Metlakatla Governing Councillor Robert Nelson Sr. welcomes the audience with a joke on April 26 at the Lester Centre during NABOC 2017. 380 delegates took part in this year’s business conference. Kevin Campbell photo.

NABOC 2017 attracts 380 delegates to Prince Rupert

Speakers from Bechtel, AltaGas, First Nations LNG Alliance entertain in conference linking the private sector with Coast Tsimshian Nations

Close to 400 delegates attended the latest National Aboriginal Business Conference (NABOC) in Prince Rupert this past April 25-27, and much of the focus was on both experience (some of it, Australian), and training. Keynote speaker Kevin Berg, general manager of central services for the Curtis Island LNG projects, near Gladstone in Queensland, Australia, and possessing more than 35 years of experience with Bechtel, outlined some of the opportunities and challenges that come with the simultaneous construction and operation of three different LNG facilities in the same area.

“His story was very interesting … it has some parallels with Prince Rupert,” said Geoff Greenwell, CEO of 2G Group, organizer of NABOC 2017.

Not only was LNG front and centre in discussions during the conference for delegates, but a greater focus was placed on training and employment opportunities. With so many companies looking to find local workers, many delegates and possible employees were able to be connected through networking events and exhibitor showcases.

“There are a couple different research projects that are finished now. Calculating the workforce needs of the LNG industry, as well as the types of work [is important]. There is a lot more focus now on people getting trained and prepared ahead of these big projects,” Greenwell said.

Coast Tsimshian leaders Chief Harold Leighton of Metlakatla and Mayor John Helin of Lax Kw’alaams, and their councillors and representatives, welcomed the 380-strong delegation to this year’s conference on April 26. Lax Kw’alaams deputy mayor Helen Johnson and Metlakatla governing councillor Robert Nelson Sr. both spoke to audiences shortly after breakfast last Wednesday and offered their best wishes from the traditional First Nations of the Tsimshian territory.

Johnson noted that not signing treaties, but by working in partnership with all those interested in doing business with Lax Kw’alaams, will be the way forward for the Band.

Nelson Sr. brought a lighthearted spirit and humourous demeanor to the opening remarks, telling delegates to just enjoy themselves and always smile, even when doing business.

It’s the seventh year for NABOC and Greenwell said organizers have found a smooth groove for the conference, operating out of the Jim Ciccone Civic Centre, Lester Centre of the Arts and North Coast Convention Centre.

“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. I think what’s most effective about the event is its cost-effectiveness. It’s very difficult for that many people to get that much access to that many people at the same time anywhere else. So for companies coming in, wanting to meet regional First Nations, everybody’s there,” said Greenwell, adding that the economic boost provided to Prince Rupert from the conference adds almost $600,000 to the area in just a few days.

“As always, we greatly appreciate the Coast Tsimshian hosting us, so thanks to Chief Harold Leighton and Mayor John Helin in particular, and the City of Prince Rupert and Mayor [Lee] Brain. They’re always willing to give their time and show up and show support. We greatly appreciate that,” Greenwell said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Flights are to resume to Prince Rupert and Sandspit airports under an Air Canada and federal government $5.9 billion agreement that was reached on April 12. A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
$5.879 billion agreement between Air Canada and Fed’s will assist YPR in re-opening

Prince Rupert Regional Airport to reopen flights by June 1st, if not earlier

BC Housing townhouses on Kootenay Ave. were demolished during March to make way for new affordable residential units by Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Despite a recent reduction in units project will still be able to house many

Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society says 60 units is still the plan

Photo collage of loved ones lost to substance use and overdose. (Photo courtesy Moms Stop The Harm)
B.C. overdose deaths still rising 5 years after public health emergency declared

Moms Stop the Harm calls on B.C. to provide safe supply in response to deadly illicit drug use

Prince Rupert City Council approved the purchase of computer chipped recycling bins on April 12. A Penticton garbage truck lifts a new bin. (Western News photo)
Big Brother to help with the garbage – computer chipped recycling bins report your bylaw infractions

They report, but will they sort — recycle bins to cost Prince Rupert $564,850

Pembina Prince Rupert Terminal celebrated the opening of operations on April 12 in a virtual online ceremony with President and CEO Mick Dilger and Manager of Communications and Media Affair Tasha Cadotte commemorating the ribbon-cutting. (Photo: Supplied)
Pembina celebrates opening of operations in Prince Rupert

A virtual ribbon-cutting ceremony commemorates LPG export facility on Watson Island

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. sees 873 more COVID-19 cases Tuesday, decline continues

Hospitalizations up to 377, two more deaths for 1,515 total

This 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 was stolen from Black Creek Motors at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, April 11. Photos via
VIDEO: B.C. car dealer posts clip of thieves towing a truck right off his lot

Video shows one white truck towing another off Vancouver Island lot

FILE – People hold signs during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver on Saturday, August 15, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to request federal exemption for simple drug possession

Announcement comes on 5-year anniversary of B.C.’s first public health emergency

(AP Photo/Matthias Schrader, FIle)
Rare blood clots ‘may be linked’ to AstraZeneca vaccines: Health Canada

One case of the adverse effect has been reported in Canada

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Two men walk past a sign on Main Street in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Calls for government transparency in COVID data continue as B.C.’s 3rd wave wears on

Social media, where both information and misinformation can spread like wildfire, has not helped

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Observers ‘gutted’ as pair filmed removing red dresses hung along B.C. highway

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Indigenous Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver Island is being monitored by Canadian and U.S. researchers, as it has developed lesions after being tagged last year. To try and prevent systemic infection from developing, the team administered antibiotics to the whale on March 31 and April 1. (Photo from the NOAA Fisheries website)
Tagged grey whale off Vancouver Island given treatment after developing lesions

Canadian and U.S. whale experts administered antibiotics to the animal on March 31, April 1

Most Read