McLeod Lake Indian Band
General Delivery McLeod Lake, BC V0J 2G0 Telephone:  750 4415 Facsimile:  750 4420 www.mlib.ca
McLeod Lake Indian Band is part of the Tse’khene group of Aboriginal peoples that includes bands at Fort Ware (Kwadacha) and Ingenika (Tseh Kay Dene). The traditional territory of McLeod Lake Tse’khene is approximately 108,000 square kilometres and is bounded as follows: To the south, the height of land separating the Arctic and Pacific watersheds near Summit Lake; To the east, following that height of land to the border of British Columbia and Alberta; To the north, following the border to the Peace River, west, following the southern bank of the Peace River to Williston Lake, south, following the western bank of Williston Lake to the western bank of Manson Arm, south, along the west bank of Manson Arm, southwest and west, along the height of land between Manson River and Eklund Creek and Jackfish Creek, southwest; and, To the west, along the height of land between the Nation River watershed and the Omineca River watershed, south and east along the height of land separating the Arctic and Pacific watersheds to the commencement point.
The main community of McLeod Lake Band is located on McLeod Lake Indian Band Indian Reserves #1 and #5, near the unincorporated village of McLeod Lake, approximately 150 kilometres north of Prince George on Highway 97. McLeod Lake Band Membership totals about 500 members (as defined under the Indian Act) with approximately 100 members living in McLeod Lake, 150 members living in Mackenzie, Chetwynd and Prince George, with the rest throughout North America.
New Indian Reserves have been established in Mackenzie and Bear Lake as provisions of the Treaty 8 Adhesion Agreement. As these reserves are developed and housing constructed, it is expected that more band members will move back to Indian Reserve lands. The government is consists of an elected Chief and six Councillors (two on-reserve, two offreserve, an elder councillor and a youth councillor). The elections are held every three years and conducted according to a strict electoral code. The Band funds itself primarily through investments and business, but also receives some of its administration and program funding from Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Health Canada, and other government departments and agencies. The Band Administration is subject to a comprehensive annual audit by Deloitte & TouchĂŠ LLP as its local government and business auditor.
Community Pride McLeod Lake Indian Band takes pride in its community. In summer, the Band hosts the annual Elder & Youth Campout with the RCMP. Later on, the Band holds the Annual General Assembly, inviting all Band members, community neighbours, vendors and business entities. In December, the McLeod Lake Indian Band holds its PRIDE event for all the community members. PRIDE is an acronym for Positive Responsible Individuals Discovering Empowerment. The McLeod Lake Indian Band has tremendous pride in its children. In June 2011, the Band held the grand opening celebration for its newly built daycare facility. The new building and surrounding playground has the capacity to care for up to 16 children and employs two fulltime caregivers. There is also a Head Start program operating on reserve, offering an Aboriginal focus on giving preschool aged children a head start in their education.
McLeod Lake Indian Band Statements Vision: As Tse’khene people, stewards of our land, we strive for self-reliance and are proud members of a healthy Nation built on a strong foundation of traditional knowledge and values. With determination, we embrace opportunities of the modern world to educate our people, to enhance our community so that current and future generations are able to take care of their economic, cultural, spiritual and social needs. Mission: We lead a responsible government organization that is designed for the needs and priorities of the Tse’khene people. Guiding Principles:
“May the footprints we leave behind be the ones our children are proud to walk in”
History of the People The Tse’khene is a south-westerly extension of the Athapascan speaking people of northern Canada. We were a nomadic hunting people who controlled the basins of the Parsnip and Finlay Rivers and the valley of the Peace River in British Columbia. Living on the edge of the Rocky Mountains, we are the “People of the Rocks”. The language of the Tse’khene belongs to the Beaver-Sarcee-Tse’khene branch of Athapaskan. The McLeod Lake Tse’khene was the first encountered by Alexander Mackenzie on his journey to the Pacific Ocean in 1797. In 1805, the Northwest Company erected British Columbia’s first fur trading post at the mouth of the Pack River on McLeod Lake. In 1898, the Klondike gold rush brought thousands of prospectors into the Peace River region on their way north. During the fall of that year, some 500 Beaver and Tse’khene peoples refused passage through their territories. Fearing violence, the Government of Canada promised Aboriginal peoples a treaty. In 1898, Treaty Number 8 was proposed and during the next 15 years, the Government of Canada signed up various Indian Bands in north eastern British Columbia. The Government of Canada did not sign McLeod Lake Tse’khene to Treaty 8 at that time. In 1987, McLeod Lake Indian Band advised the Government of Canada that it wished to join Treaty 8. Canada agreed to adhesion to the Treaty, but the Province of British Columbia refused to transfer land. In 1988, McLeod Lake Indian Band obtained an injunction preventing the harvesting of timber on their chosen lands. In 1992, negotiations with British Columbia and Canada commenced, and in 2000, McLeod Lake Band ratified an agreement with the Government of Canada and the Government of British Columbia that brought the Band into Treaty 8. The Treaty Adhesion Settlement provided the Band with approximately $38 million that is held in trust and some 20,000 hectares of forest lands, Indian Reserves, and fee simple lands. The Band is permitted to spend the interest beyond inflation and projected population growth from the Trust on administrative, community and economic development projects provided that the elected Board of Trustees ensures the projects meet the criteria set out in the Trust Agreement.
The Band Administration has a staff of some 45 full and part time positions, led by a Band Administrator and divided into five departments. These departments are: 1. Education and Training This department is responsible for the oversight of public school education including the negotiation of tuition agreements with School District 57; the financial assistance of post-secondary and technical students, and adult training. Funding is provided by Aboriginal Affairs Canada and McLeod Lake Indian Band. The Department also is the contact for Elder’s programs. 2. Health and Social Development This department is the Band’s largest with 14 employees engaged in activities promoting the health and wellness of the membership. Diverse services include the provision of day care and head start positions, community health and home care, social work and counselling, infant and family development and work with youth. The Department works closely with Northern Aboriginal Health, an organization that provides the Band with on-reserve nursing visits. The Department receives its funding from Aboriginal Affairs Canada, Health Canada and the Band. 3. Public Works and Housing This department is concerned with the maintenance and development of the physical structures on-reserve. Primary responsibility includes the maintenance of the community water system, the on-reserve roads, public buildings such as the Band Hall, the Natural Resources Centre, and the Day Care; and the 51 houses on reserve lands. The Department receives funding from Aboriginal Affairs Canada, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, 4. Natural Resources This group is responsible for the Band’s extensive forest lands, reserve lands, and land referral. The group is responsible for protecting the Band’s Aboriginal rights and title within the traditional territory, the environment of the reserves, and the forests. The department is primarily financed from revenues generated by the sale of timber and fees paid by the Government of British Columbia (Oil and Gas Commission) for work reviewing oil and gas applications. Aboriginal Affairs also contributes funds to cover the management of the Band’s reserve lands. 5. Finance The Finance Department does all the bookkeeping, payroll, payables, receivables and accounting of the Band.
The Band Administrator in addition to directing the 5 departments also has administrative responsibility for Personnel, chief and Council administration, MLIB Development Corporation, and MLIB Exploration Corporation. The McLeod Lake Band Administration is considered to be a stable and well run organization by Aboriginal Affairs.
Business History The Tse’khene were hunters, living primarily on moose, caribou, bear, and beaver. Prior to the establishment of the fur trading posts, the Tse’khene traded moose and caribou skins with the Carrier to the west for salmon and other goods. With the establishment of the Northwest Company ( later Hudson Bay Company) trading post at McLeod Lake in 1805, the Tse’khene people established trap lines and sold furs at the trading post. The traditional pattern of life was to secure game in the fall, trap in the winter and spring, and then to pick berries, and hunt birds and fish in the summer. The traditional economy continued until the 1960’s when the provincial railway and John Hart Highway were built, opening up the land to non-aboriginal settlement and economic exploitation of the forest resources. This decimated the Tse’khene economy which depended on wild game. In 1969, the W.A.C. Bennett Dam was built, creating a 650 square mile lake and flooding the hunting and trapping areas of McLeod Lake Tse’khene. The 1960’s and 1970’s were not good years for McLeod Lake Indian Band. As members languished on their Indian Reserves, the municipalities of Mackenzie and Prince George prospered. Aboriginal people lost their traditional livelihood and were precluded from participation in the “white” economy. As has happened to many First Nations across Canada, McLeod Lake Indian Band entered a period of despair and faced the social disintegration of its community. The Band decided that this situation could not continue. After repeated attempts to gain contracts from forest companies, Band Members engaged in civil disobedience by blocking forestry operations. In the early 1980’s, the Band and its members were awarded modest logging contracts. Duz Cho Logging Ltd was created and, through sacrifice, hard work and help from the Government of Canada, the firm has grown to be one of British Columbia’s largest logging contractors. Profits from Duz Cho Logging were used to hire legal counsel to negotiate adhesion to Treaty 8. Settlement funds have been placed in a trust. Excess interest from the Trust Fund and profits from the forest lands provide support for McLeod Lake Indian Band’s local government programs and for investment in business. Trustees are selected by McLeod Lake Indian Band Members through an election that holds a three year term. The Trust is independent from Chief and Council and the funds are overseen by Royal Trust. A problem facing the Band and Duz Cho Logging is the mountain pine beetle. As it ravages the pine forests, the allowable cut of the forests has been greatly increased. The effect of this is that, while there is significant work in logging today, there is also an expected reduction in allowable cut of the forests once the mature pine has been harvested. In 10 years, it is
expected that the Band’s logging company will have to reduce its size and employment. While continuing to build on forestry, McLeod Lake Indian Band is looking to diversify its economy. Accordingly, Duz Cho Construction Ltd was created in 2002 to work in the oil and gas, and coal industry of north eastern British Columbia. As much of the equipment and skills are common with a logging company, this has been a natural progression. The establishment of an Aboriginal company in the oil and gas industry has not been an easy task. The oil and gas industry is a closed industry with an “old boy” network. The Band hired an individual who had credibility within the industry and, with the assets of Duz Cho Logging and the Band, has been able to finance a wide range of equipment. From inception, it took the Duz Cho Construction one year of lobbying with oil companies before it gained its first contract. This last fiscal year, which ends in October, Duz Cho Construction will have had sales of over $10 Million and will be profitable. In June 2004, McLeod Lake Indian Band purchased 80% of shares in Summit Pipeline Services Ltd., headquartered in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Summit’s core business is pipeline construction, maintenance and rehabilitation. Since the purchase, Summit has opened offices in Calgary and Dawson Creek. Thanks to the combined efforts of McLeod Lake Indian Band and Summit’s management team, the company has added six new western clients to its portfolio and is now tendering programs with energy leaders such as BP Canada, EnCana, TransCanada Pipelines and Duke Energy. Summit Pipeline Services, McLeod Lake Indian Band and the Western Canadian Trade Unions have run successful training programs for First Nations people in Metal Trades and Heavy Equipment Operation. McLeod Lake Indian Band looks forward to growing Summit Pipeline Services to be a 100% Band-owned major constructor in the oil and gas industry. Having also established its own business development programs, the McLeod Lake Indian Band has assisted Band Members to establish their own business ventures. These currently include owner-operated equipment, forestry and construction businesses, steel sales and fabrication, and the provision of accommodation. McLeod Lake Indian Band, while concentrating its resources on strengthening its existing business, is still open to new business ventures that promise profitability for the Band and opportunities for its membership.
Business Goals and Principles McLeod Lake Indian Band follows sound principles in its pursuit of fulfilment of its business goals: 1. Businesses must generate independent income to be used by Chief and Council to meet the social, health, and educational needs of Band Members. This income
removes much of the dependency that the Band has on Government and allows the Chief and Council to pursue social programs beyond that provided by governments including purchasing housing off-reserve, providing an extensive program of education and enhanced health care for its members. 2. The needs of the customers of McLeod Lake Indian Band’s business entities are paramount – the product must be provided at the right price, in the right condition and in a timely manner. It is through good, dependable business that McLeod Lake Band has become one of Canada’s largest logging contractors. 3. Qualified people are hired, whether Aboriginal or not, to work in Band business and government operations. 4. Job security and good working conditions for all employees (Band Members, other Aboriginals, and non-Aboriginal) must be provided. Business is enlarged when there is an opportunity to hire Band Members, rather than displace long term employees who are not Band Members. This provides the stability needed to prosper. 5. Work related training programs are provided for McLeod Lake Band and community membership. Employment training has been established to provide skills and promote good work attitudes. 6. It is the belief of Chief and Council that employment, rather than idleness is important to the social fabric of the community. Profits from business allow the Band to fund employment in local government, pre-business, and work in the traditional economy. 7. Chief and Council does not mix politics with business, and relies on professional managers in each of its business entities. Chief and Council, as shareholders, scrutinize the financial and business affairs of the business entities to ensure compliance with shareholders’ goals, objectives, and strategic plans.
Summary McLeod Lake Indian Band is a major economic entity within our Traditional Territory. The Band is concerned about the environment and will do everything within its powers to ensure that development within its Traditional Territory will be environmentally responsible so that future generations will be able to use the land and prosper. McLeod Lake Indian Band requires meaningful jobs for its members, and takes pride in its work and accomplishments. In the industries where the Band has established businesses, the Band has earned a reputation of competence and integrity. McLeod Lake Indian Band is an inclusive First Nation and wishes to work with other First Nations and non-native communities to build a better British Columbia and Canada for all.
Board of Directors McLeod Lake Indian Band owns a number of companies. A Board of Directors has been created to oversee and direct operations. The Board is formed with seven persons from industry, Council and Band Membership. The Board of Directors operates independent of McLeod Lake Indian Band administration, and follows industry principles in the governance of the businesses. The Band Council and membership are kept informed of the performance of its companies, but are not involved with the operations of the businesses. The impact of politics on business is minimized. This Board of Directors is responsible for the following companies:
Duz Cho Logging LP Duz Cho Construction LP McLeod Lake Indian Band Development Corporation McLeod Lake Indian Band Exploration LP
The Board of Directors, through McLeod Lake Indian Band Exploration LP, has members on the Board of Directors of Summit Pipeline Services Ltd. The Band owns 80% of the shares in that company.
Duz Cho Logging Ltd. Duz Cho Logging, a 100% Band-owned company, was created in 1988 with an initial contract to log 60,000 cubic meters of timber with sales to Mackenzie. Duz Cho operates primarily in the areas of McLeod Lake and Williston Lake Reservoir in north central British Columbia and on McLeod Lake Indian Band’s Settlement Lands. The name Duz Cho is Tse’khene for Big Wood. In 1996, Duz Cho was awarded contracts with Royal Oak Mines Ltd. for the clearing of a 341-kilometer right-of-way for a hydroelectric line from the Kennedy substation near Mackenzie to the Kemess Mine. This contract represented the harvest of some 300,000 cubic metres of timber and the construction of over 200 bridges. The work was valued at $26.5 million, met all regulatory requirements, and was successfully completed within a year.
Over time, Duz Cho Logging has developed a reputation for quality logging and has grown into one of British Columbia’s largest logging companies with annual logging counts of approximately 800,000 cubic metres of timber and construction of up to 200 kilometres of logging roads. In 2001, Duz Cho Logging won the prestigious Aboriginal Business Award of the Year at a ceremony in Kamloops, BC. In 2002, Duz Cho Logging was awarded the Enterprise Business of the Year at a ceremony in Fort St. John, BC. Duz Cho employs 60 full time and seasonal employees. Duz Cho also engages four contract feller-bunchers, 4 contract processors, and 11 contract logging trucks. Additional owner-operator equipment is contracted as required. The employment and contractor component of Duz Cho Logging is approximately 70% Aboriginal. The Band is an equal opportunity employer and employs aboriginal people from other First Nations as well as a number of non-aboriginal peoples. Duz Cho provides job and contract security to its employees in order to achieve higher band employment levels through the expansion of its business operations. During the last two years, the company has had to adjust its business plan to meet the challenges of a collapsing forest industry and mill closures. Duz Cho Logging has diversified to other industries and is engaged in construction projects. It has a strong base in logging and can respond quickly when the forest industry recovers.
McLeod Lake Indian Band Development Corporation McLeod Lake Indian Band McLeod Lake Indian Band Development Corporation was established in 2002 as an incorporated entity entirely owned by McLeod Lake Indian Band. The Development Corporation’s purpose is to conduct business and make investments on behalf of the Band where an incorporated company is required. As the Band is not a legal entity, the Development Corporation may undertake contracts where a legal entity is required. 1. Economic Development
The McLeod Lake Indian Band Development Corporation is concerned with the growth and development of the McLeod Lake Indian Band economy. The Development Corporation arranges funding for various economic, business and capital projects of the Band, provides business training and advice for McLeod Lake Band Members, and seeks business investment ventures, which meets the Band’s requirements of profitability and job creation.
2. Real Estate The holding of real estate requires the holder to be a legal entity. Accordingly, this responsibility has been assigned to the Development Corporation. Real estate holdings include: a. Commercial Property
The Chetwynd shop and office is a metal building containing 4 units of office and workshops, on 2.58 acres of land. The units consist of a front office/storefront and an industrial shop with access from a fenced back yard. The units are well appointed for businesses that repair or store equipment and require an interface with the public.
Undeveloped fee simple land is owned at Mackenzie Junction and Summit Lake. The land is suitable for commercial or residential construction. McLeod Lake is willing to joint venture with investors to develop the holdings.
b. Residential Property Houses have been purchased in the Prince George and McLeod Lake areas for rental to Band members.
McLeod Lake Indian Band Land Referral Office
In December 2002, McLeod Lake Indian Band established an office in Chetwynd to review land use requests to the Government of British Columbia for permanent or temporary alienation of provincial crown land that is within the traditional territory of McLeod Lake Tse’khene. The referral process for oil and gas includes the physical inspection of the proposed land use area with attention given to traditional values of trapping, hunting, fishing, berry picking, and medicinal plants, as well as the historical use of the site by Tse’khene. The Government of British Columbia’s Oil and Gas Commission provides funding and requires that referrals be conducted within set time limits. Columbia the McLeod Lake Band, through Land Referral Office, has negotiated a number of Memorandums of Understanding with major resource companies including Terrane Metal Corporation’s Mount Milligan Mine and First Coal Corporation’s South Central Mine.
Duz Cho Construction Ltd. Duz Cho Construction Limited Partnership (DCCLP) is a legal entity owned by the McLeod Lake Indian Band (MLIB). The partners are:
Duz Cho Construction Ltd.– General Partner; and McLeod Lake Indian Band Business Trust – Limited Partner.
Duz Cho Construction Limited Partnership was formed to facilitate the McLeod Lake Indian Band’s move into the eastern portion of its traditional territories. The creation of this entity is one part of the group’s business strategy which includes taking on work in the oil & gas industry, mining and general construction in the Peace. Duz Cho Construction has built leases, performed clean-ups, reclaimed leases, cleared pipeline right-of-ways, performed grubbing, cleared seismic lines, and upgraded roads, leases and drainage ditches for a number of companies in the oil and gas industry. Duz Cho Construction has also cleared sites for major industrial operations and built roads for firms in the mining and energy sectors. DCCLP presently has its offices in Chetwynd and services its equipment in a well equipped shop. Duz Cho has property in the industrial area of Dawson Creek, which is used for repairs, storage, and mobilization.
RESOURCES AND CAPABILITIES
Duz Cho Construction’s management personnel have extensive experience within their fields. All work together to diversify and expand the company.
DCCLP is current in its Safety Qualifications and has its Certificate of Recognition through Work Safe BC and CORE. A & J Medical Services is managing and implementing Duz Cho Construction’s safety program.
Equipment and Availability
DCCLP currently owns excavators, dozers, scrapers, rock trucks, lowbed trailers, loaders, and other equipment. The company also has field service trucks. DCCLP has a sound relationship with major equipment companies and can source additional equipment rental or lease equipment when required. The company boasts a proactive maintenance program which is second to none. Financial Stability
Duz Cho Construction has a proven track record of financial and business success and a reputation in the industry as an ethical and responsible business entity.
ASSOCIATIONS Duz Cho Construction has formed a number of alliances and joint ventures with compatible businesses. These include:
McCaw’s Drilling and Blasting Ltd. Ledcor CMI Ltd. Western Protection Alliance Dunne-za Ventures Ltd (West Moberly First Nations)
For more information regarding Duz Cho Construction, please call (250) 788 3120.
Summit Pipeline Services Ltd. Summit Pipeline Services Ltd is a federally incorporated company based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. McLeod Lake Indian Band has purchased a majority of shares in Summit Pipeline Services Ltd and currently controls 80% of the stock. Summit Pipeline Services is a construction services based company providing maintenance, rehabilitation and installation of piping and facilities services to the Gas and Oil Transmission Industry, Pulp and Paper Industry, and Processing Industry, as well as to municipalities. Summit has contracts throughout Canada. Summit Pipeline Services has a full range of floating, excavating, pipe laying and welding equipment available, based in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Services include:
Pipeline construction and replacement; Hydrostatic testing; Corrosion remedial programs; Preparation and rehabilitation of utility right of way; Installation of launchers and receivers; Excavation of loaded facilities; Installation of hot taps;
Installation of "Clock Springs" and sleeves; Hydrovac services; Sandblasting & Coating with 100% epoxy, polyurea and polyurethane; Leak repairs; Valve replacement; Survey and As-Builts; and, Consulting services in corrosion, non-destructive testing & welding.
Summit Pipeline Services has developed and maintains a very high standard in both Health and Safety, and the Environment. They meet or exceed all industry regulations and amend our policies to incorporate knowledge derived from hazard assessment in the ever-changing work environment. Summit Pipeline Services Ltd is a unionized company and operates coast to coast. It’s main office and shop is in Thunder Bay, Ontario with sub offices in Calgary, Chetwynd and Dawson Creek.
McLeod Lake Indian Band Business Directory Duz Cho Construction LP 4821 South Access Road P.O. Box 28 Chetwynd, B.C. V0C 1J0 Tele: 250-788-3120 Fax: 250-788-3188 Cell: 250-788-6745 Website: www.duzcho.com
Duz Cho Logging Ltd. Box 2408 Mackenzie, BC V0J 2C0 Ph: (250) 997-4420
McLeod Lake Indian Band Development Corporation 4821 South Access Road Box 64 Chetwynd, BC V0C 1J0 Ph:  788 8823
MLIB Land Referral Office 4821 South Access Road Box 87 Chetwynd, BC V0C 1J0 Ph: (250) 788-2227 Fax: (250) 788-8824
Summit Pipeline Services 46 Cooper Road Rosslyn, ON P7K OE3 Office: 807-939-1100 Toll free: 1-800-804-6055 Fax: 807-939-1166 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org