The Gitmaxmak’ay Nisga’a Society is poised for a year of growth, not only through existing businesses but through the expansion of services being offered at the Seal Cove property.
Two of the new ventures outlined by CEO Greg Grayson at the Nov. 19 Chamber of Commerce luncheon aim to make use of the resources available on the North Coast.
“I am happy to announce that we have received some material funding toward a commercial smokehouse, so we’re going to be in the business of smoking salmon, candying it using different fish,” said Grayson.
“We are so excited about being able to do this project on our property in Seal Cove. We are hoping to break ground on the facility this winter and be operational by the upcoming salmon season, so stay tuned”.
Funding partners for the Wilp-Sihoon Smokehouse include Northern Savings Credit Union, the Coast Opportunity Fund, the Nisga’a Business Development Fund and the First Citizen Fund.
As well as turning to the seas, Grayson said the Nisga’a Society is working with another northwest First Nation organization to create opportunity from the forests in the area.
“We have underutilized property and I am quite happy to say that we have started discussions with the Metlakatla Stewardship Society on an essential oils business, taking bows from the trees and creating essential oils,” he said.
Grayson also pointed to expanding operations at Prince Rupert Lawn and Garden to include herbs and vegetables for the local market and expanding lawn care services to include potential bobcat and tree-topping services.
“As long as we can meet margins, employing people is at the top of business. It is not at the expense of the business, but we want to see people employed,” he said.