Three NWT Indigenous companies won awards at the Arctic Indigenous Investment Conference (AIIC) held virtually on Thursday.

Det’on Cho Logistics took home the Top Indigenous Business of the Year (2020) award, EntrepreNorth won Community Champion of the Year for the NWT and Det’on Cho Bouwa Whee Catering LP scored the Arctic Innovators Award.

This year’s fourth annual AIIC was hosted by the Yukon First Nations Chamber of Commerce, sponsored by Victoria Gold Corp and broadcast from Whitehorse.

Bobbi-Rose Koe, left, Teri-Lee Isaac, Meta Williams, EntrepreNorth’s project director Benjamin Scott, James McPherson, Dumaresq Valpy, community manager Xina Cowan and Atuat Shouldice in Iqaluit in March 2020 for a meeting of EntrepreNorth’s tourism cohort. photo courtesy of Chickweed Arts

Det’on Cho Logistics

“We’re very grateful to be recognized for this type of award during a time where a lot of businesses weren’t quite so lucky,” said Det’on Cho president Matt Mossman.

“This is the first award we’ve ever had from the business community. Part of our messaging is we look forward to getting back to meeting with our fellow business community and learning to do things in different ways to stay sustainable in times like these these.”

Det’on Cho Logistics, formed in 2009 is owned by Det’on Cho Corporation, the economic development arm of the Yellowknives Dene First Nation.

EntrepreNorth

Xina Cowan, community manager with EntrepreNorth, said the organization is highly honoured to receive the accolade.

“We feel it’s something shared not just with our small but mighty team but also our advisory team and all the entrepreneurs we’ve worked with over the last three years,” Cowan said.

The Yellowknife-based organization works to help entrepreneurs build sustainable businesses and livelihoods in the three territories.

“We’re really passionate about entrepreneurship through an Indigenous lens that really values cultural integrity,” Cowan added. “We like to meet the entrepreneurs where they’re at and so they can achieve their goals and knock down barriers.” 

A spokesperson for Det’on Cho Bouwa Whee Catering wasn’t immediately available.

“The team at Victoria Gold is very proud to contribute to the fabric of the Yukon, and to the
achievements of Northerners,” said Victoria Gold Corp President and CEO John McConnell, in a news release from AIIC. “We are pleased to participate in a number of initiatives that benefit and recognize ingenuity and innovation, including the Arctic Indigenous Investment Conference and we congratulate all the successful award winners.”

Blair McBride

Blair McBride covers the Legislative Assembly, business and education. Before coming to Yellowknife he worked as a journalist in British Columbia, Thailand and Ontario. He studied journalism at Western...

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