Success Story: Aboriginal Business of the Year achieves industry standard and opens doors for aboriginal employment

October 27, 2016

Getumdone Contracting (3)
Getumdone Contracting is living up to its name and building First Nations business success through safety, collaboration and cultural understanding in northern B.C. The Aboriginal-owned, Houston, B.C.-based company supplies field crews to industrial projects in northern B.C. Not long ago, Getumdone’s owner Layne Boucher knew that if he wanted to help his company grow and give back to the community he would need to meet certain industry – required health and safety standards to become a prime contractor for the TransCanada’s Coastal GasLink project.

“The planning for the Coastal GasLink pipeline was well underway, and we needed to be able to get to the table to provide input about the local impact to the territory and ensure that First Nations were also benefitting from the development,” said Boucher. The first step to achieving prime contractor status was to upgrade the company’s existing health and safety program (SEBASE) to meet the rigorous industry requirements of ISNetworld certification. Getumdone Contracting the reached out to the Trust, knowing that the Competitiveness Consulting Rebate could help them offset the costs of hiring a first-rate consultant to help them achieve improved health and safety standards. Approximately 30% of CCR projects have supported health and safety program development and registration on vendor pre-qualifications systems.

“The [Northern Development] application was user-friendly and made it easy to take advantage of the opportunity,” said Getumdone co-owner Chrisann Boucher. Local First Nations employment was a key priority for Getumdone, and the company soon saw results after achieving ISNetworld certification. The company has successfully focused on creating employment opportunities for oft-overlooked demographics, which include workers under 25 years of age and over 65.

Today, Getumdone is one of TransCanada’s prime contractors in the area for the Coastal GasLink project, which has allowed the company to establish a unique working relationship as a known and successful First Nations employer.

Getumdone collaborates with the TransCanada team on the “iTOK” program that supports intergenerational transfer of knowledge between youth and elders through traditional activities such as songs and storytelling while combining work training and mentorship.
Industry representatives may accompany Getumdone into the traditional Wet’suwet’en territory to understand how their proposed project will impact the region and its people.

“Our collaboration has paid huge dividends through on-the-ground education of our youth and engaged industry decision makers. As a result [Coastal GasLink] has truly recognized the importance of protecting cultural heritage by looking for alternate, less impactful routes for the proposed pipeline,” explained Layne.

Good work comes with deserving recognition so it is no surprise that Getumdone Contracting Ltd. has been awarded 2016 Aboriginal Business of the Year (10 or more person enterprise) by the British Columbia Achievement Foundation. Layne and Chrisann are humble yet proud of they what they have achievements. Layne comments, “The future is full of opportunity. We now have experience and the tools for success.”