Little Shuswap Lake Band continues economic development


Quaaout Lodge is one of the properties developed by the nation.

Calgary, Alta.-based Steel River Group (SRG), an Indigenous owned and operated construction management company, is growing into B.C. with a partnership with the Little Shuswap Lake Band (LSLB) and an office set to open in Kamloops.

In October the company announced the strategic relationship and said they will collaborate with LSLB on projects that are mutually beneficial to their economic interests and align with their shared values.

“(LSLB) has recently demonstrated a successful model for improving the economic interests of the region through recreation, hospitality, resource development and construction,” the announcement read. “SRG will work closely with the community to continue this momentum, by providing LSLB with an expanded scope of service offerings while delivering additional capacity to its existing businesses and operations.”

“Establishing a relationship with Little Shuswap Lake Band supports our mission to advance Indigenous businesses, maximize employment and integration, and create long-term economic benefit to the communities in which we work,” said Trent Fequet, SRG founder and chief executive officer.

Fequet said personal relationships with the nation and LSLB administrators drew them to the area. The band’s ongoing success with businesses like Quaaout Lodge and Talking Rock Golf Course showed the potential offered by a partnership.

He described a working relationship that helps the band accomplish their own goals locally while also creating infrastructure in the area over a few years.

“When we decide on a nation we work with them for whatever their goals are,” he said. “When we looked at the area they had a great chief and council and the same core values…It’s a great area.”

“Little Shuswap Lake Band perpetually seeks to fulfill its mandate to provide economic opportunity to our community,” said Chief Oliver Arnouse of the Little Shuswap Lake Band. “We believe this relationship, with Steel River Group, will allow our community to continue developing our regional economic strategies and create lasting, tangible impacts for our community members.”

Fequet added they will open an office in Kamloops in two months and Vancouver in December. It marks the first time the company has ventured west into B.C.