Aboriginal Business Match a Success for Kwantlen First Nation and Township of Langley

The Township of Langley and Kwantlen First Nation have a strong, constructive relationship and are proud to work together to benefit the community as a whole. Recently the inaugural Aboriginal Business Match (ABM) Lower Mainland was co-hosted by both entities from December 4 to 6 at the Langley Events Centre, on Kwantlen, Katzie, and Semiahmoo Traditional Territory.

ABM business development events are designed to connect Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal businesses, organizations, and governments to support business development, training, and employment, and are held by the National ABM Partners Group across Canada. The event saw participants engage in dozens of pre-scheduled meetings with other ABM delegates to seek viable matching opportunities.

The Township of Langley - the fastest growing municipality in Metro Vancouver - was the ideal place to hold the event, said Mayor Jack Froese, due to its many competitive business advantages and job opportunities, and the exceptional relationship shared by the Township and the Kwantlen First Nation. “We enjoy some really wonderful partnerships here, and people who actively make the Township a great place to live, work, play, and do business,” Froese said. “Members of the Kwantlen First Nation are a huge part of that and we are happy to be able to work together and present events such as this, which make a positive difference for the entire community.”

“We are tireless in our spirit to make a better world for our future generations,” said Kwantlen First Nation Chief Marilyn Gabriel. “This includes stimulating our business development activities. By creating joint ventures and partnerships, the economic health of our Nation thrives, which in turn, contributes back to the health of our community.”

The Township’s Economic Development Department, whose motto is ‘Connecting People and Places,’ worked with Kwantlen and Raven Events to present the Langley ABM in BC’s Lower Mainland. The event also featured vendors, social networking opportunities, and a panel made up of representatives from the Township, Kwantlen First Nation, and its business development arm, Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group, which has been involved with the National ABM Network since its inception.

Tumia Knott, a Kwantlen First Nation Councillor and President of Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group, noted that the unique, collaborative relationship between Kwantlen and the Township is beneficial both economically and culturally. Positivity, mutual concern for the whole community, and frequent and regular dialogue have led to joint projects such as the Lelem’ Arts and Cultural Café and the presentation of the Aboriginal Business Match, she said, and sets an example for other municipalities to follow.

For more information, contact:
Val Gafka, Township of Langley Senior Manager of Corporate Administration, at vgafka@tol.ca or 604-532-7305.
Peter Arkell, Seyem’ Qwantlen Business Group, at peter@sqbg.ca or 604-888-5556.

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