Students ACE business

Aboriginal adults have aced their way into business thanks to a program serving up the necessary skills

Graduates of the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs program proudly display their certificates at a ceremony last weekend

Aboriginal adults have aced their way into business thanks to a program serving up the necessary skills.

The Lakes Division Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs Program has just wrapped up its first session in the Shuswap. Adams Lake, Neskonlith, Little Shuswap, Splatsin community members, as well as other qualifying aboriginals in the area have gained business skills thanks to a partnership between the University of Victoria’s Peter B Gustavson School of Business, the Lakes division bands, and the local ASETS partner.

“The program consists of 18 two-day workshops, each taught by a UVic professor,” said Debra Tamagi, program manager, adding that students learn: “everything you wanted to know about starting your own business.

“It’s a really awesome program.”

The first cohort of the LD-ACE began in February and ran through to Sept. 18. Now a new session is set to begin. Anyone interested in taking part can contact Tamagi at 250-328-4993 or

Funding for this program comes from the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training, and made available to up to 18 people to participate in this valuable training program.

“We started the program with 18 and we have 15 graduating so we’re proud of that,” said Tamagi.

On top of the skill set gained, students were able to present their business concepts to a panel of professionals and lending institutions for a chance at making their business goals come true.

For students such as Daphne Maxime, the learning experience and skills gained alone were well worth the course.

Maxime is a First Nations woman born in Enderby who recently moved back home after living nearly 40 years abroad in the U.S.A. Her father was Neskonlith, and lived on the Salmon Arm Reserve, while her mother was from the Splatsin community. Maxime is in her mid-fifties, but definitely not done learning and not done moving towards her goals.

At first Daphne was unsure of the ACE program because she thought she might have difficulty keeping up with the concepts, since it’s similar to a university-level course, and taught by university professors.

She was hoping to create a sustainable business that she could grow and scale over time. She knew that she had the people skills and many of the ‘soft skills’ needed to make her business successful, but what she wanted to learn more about was the ‘hard skills’ or the technical aspects of entrepreneurship. As she moved through the ACE program, she was starting to build up this toolkit of skills.

She will apply them to Daph’s “Crafty” Touch, a mobile massage business she plans to establish using her crafting skills to earn money to get her through massage school and help supplement her income on the side.

Maxime stated that she felt that the ACE program has, “opened up (her) eyes,” to new knowledge. Coming to the ACE program feels like she, “has taken blinders off.” Through her learning at ACE she sees businesses differently – even things like their logos and store layouts convey so much more information to her than they did before.


Just Posted

Vernon ducks race for BC Guide Dogs

Ducks will be available to “adopt” for the race at Superstore, Safeway, the Bay and Buy Low Foods

BOOMER TALK: Dem bones gonna walk around you

Columnist Carole Fawcett looks at human bones and joints

Vernon Secondary Class of 1979 readies for reunion

Group celebrates 40 years since graduation with weekend golf, meet and greet and dinner/dance

Standard of living is not sustainable

LETTER: In response to Student Indoctrination letter

National Painting Week brings new look to Vernon senior home

Sherwin-Williams store volunteered their time and supplies to Abbeyville House

Police release photos of suspect in daytime sex assault at Vancouver woman’s home

A young woman, in hers 20s, was followed home by the man, before he violently attacked her inside

Missing Shuswap teen found safe

The teen was found by searchers at 4:30 a.m. on May 25

Firefighter spring training comes to Lake Country

From LNG to breaking down doors, firefighters get training from industry pros

More than just a playground: Penticton’s Busy Beans Play Café to help parents and children

Owners Kim Wade and Tracey Wiseman want to use their expertise to help struggling families

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

Highway 1 closed east of Revelstoke

Highway 1 is closed east of Revelstoke near Canyon Hot Springs due… Continue reading

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

Okanagan woman celebrates 101 years young on the back of a Harley Davidson

Last Saturday Violet Madeline celebrated 101 years. A member of the Lower… Continue reading

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Most Read