A newly-launched Indigenous-owned business has officially opened its doors for a grand opening ceremony.
Kihew Fabco is a steel fabrication enterprise that is owned half by Kahkewistahaw First Nation and band member, Desmond Dumais.
Dumais said partnering with his home community means a lot to him as they want to work towards partnering with other businesses to create job opportunities and work towards reconciliation.
“There’s a lot of unemployment in our communities so we really wanted to create a space to work with non-Indigenous businesses and Crown corporations and industry,” he said.
Kihew Fabco, a fully-automated welding shop, held its grand opening on Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, which special dignitaries and delegates attended to witness a monumental moment for the First Nation. The enterprise focuses on helping Indigenous people to grow an interest in the trades such as welding, pipefitting, electrical, 3D modelling and laser scanning.
Dumais said collaborating and working together to build bridges with non-Indigenous businesses and corporations is the way to work towards reconciliation. This is their way of implementing the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Call To Action #92.
“We want to meet industry halfway in reaching reconciliation,” he said. “It’s important that this is the message we are sharing.
“By providing quality, state-of-the-art fabrication services, we exceed their supply chain service expectations through our efficient, technologically sophisticated workflow.”
Guest speakers took the floor to congratulate the people behind Kihew Fabco on coming together to create opportunities for Indigenous peoples and non-Indigenous businesses.
“This place is like Kihew that are going to make sure that there are no barriers, that business will partner with Kihew,” said Cowessess First Nation Chief Cadmus Delorme.
“That is what we need to do with all our industries in this province.”
The Kihew Fabco business is located in Melville, Sask., which is less than an hour north of Kahkewistahaw First Nation.