Outstanding aboriginal businesses

Mike Keefer (left), Chantelle Jimmy, Theresa Nelson and Robert Williams from Tipi Mountain Native Plants Ltd. - Photo submitted
Mike Keefer (left), Chantelle Jimmy, Theresa Nelson and Robert Williams from Tipi Mountain Native Plants Ltd.
— image credit: Photo submitted


This year Kootenay Aboriginal Business Development Agency celebrated Small Business week seeking outstanding aboriginal businesses in the Kootenay region to honour as Aboriginal Business of the Year.

KABDA is honouring the following, businesses; Jobkat Excavating of Invermere BC owner/operator, Joe Cote and wife Karen Cote that specializes in landscaping and forestry and has flourished to a multifaceted business that includes equipment rental. In the beginning Joe recognized residential boom that was occurring in the Valley and decided to start a side business with his wife.  They continue to successfully operate eight years later.

In 2010 Joe and his machinery went to work at the Panorama Mountain Village as well as engaged in restoration work on the Shuswap Indian Reserve.  Joe prides himself on the purchase of his caterpillar with a rotating drum mulcher on the front that returns the mulch back into the ground.  Joe was happy to mention, during the week of the awards JobKat signed a contract with Ministry of Forests that he credits to his ingenuity toward environmental consciousness.

Tipi Mountain Native Plants Ltd, Cranbrook BC specializing in the propagating of plants species indigenous to the Kootenay region. They have had four successful years of operation.  Their products are primarily being used for reclamation, helping to return distributed land closer to its natural state than agronomic species.  Native plants support the biodiversity of the region and area healing. Mike mentioned that they draw in businesses that work in severely disturbed and rocky landscapes and by planting native plants they not only grow and flourish but they also restore the soil in those locations.

“By advocating use of the native plants and making them available in the market, Tipi Mountain Native Plants is promoting responsible practices and creating opportunity and an expression of social responsibility.” said, Cory Peters TMNP.  They attend many local community/career fairs, so keep an eye out for them at these events.

You can visit them on the web at

Bison Spirit Bed and Breakfast, Creston owner operators Ed and Sylvia Turner created this unique Bed and Breakfast five years ago, featuring Métis/Aboriginal decor and a circle of life garden patio.  The theme was developed from Ed and Sylvia’s enjoyment of native crafts they create.  Guests enjoy freshly made bannock and other specialties from their food safe certified kitchen.

Their guests have come from all over the world and enjoy the creative art done by Ed and Sylvia that is meticulously exhibited throughout the grounds and inside the bed and breakfast.

The Turner’s goal is to provide positive, lasting memories of Creston and of Métis/Aboriginal culture for their guests.  Judging by comments on their website such as “super clean”; “fabulous hosts, great food and wonderful accommodations.” they have clearly achieved their goal.


Congratulations to all!


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