Summit Camps employee Janet Tom at the Babine Camp last September.

Summit Camps employee Janet Tom at the Babine Camp last September.

Summit Camps partners with Lake Babine Nation

For decades we have watched industry extract resources all around us with very few or no benefits to our local communities: Fred William

Smithers-based Summit Camps and the Lake Babine Nation have cemented their relationship by signing a joint venture partnership agreement to provide services on the First Nations’ traditional territories.

Last week, Summit Camps and the Tzah Tez Tlee Development Corporation of Fort Babine announced the formation of Babine Summit Camp Services Ltd. The joint venture will provide turn-key camp and catering services on the First Nations’ territories.

The partnership is a way to benefit from the resource extraction work that is going on all over their territory, said Lake Babine Nation councillor and Tzah Tez Tlee Development Corporation director Fred William.

“For decades we have watched industry extract resources all around us with very few or no benefits to our local communities,” he said. “Through our partnership with Summit Camps we are starting to realize direct community benefits from industry projects on our traditional territories and are excited to expand into the future.”

Summit Camps president Dean Allen said the partnership has a number of benefits for the company. While he hopes it is a profitable venture, Allen said their main goal is to form alliances that stay long into the future.

“With all of the proposed LNG development in the northwest, there’s a real potential for economic opportunity,” Allen said, adding many of Summit’s camps are done in partnership with First Nations’ groups. “Our goal, in all the economic development and partnerships we do, is to have it be sustainable and long term so that when projects come and go we have a basis from which to build future economic opportunities. It’s not just a flash in a pan.”

Summit Camps will also provide employment skills training and revenue and profit sharing, said director community relations and business development Andrea Kosalko.

“We’re local so we get it. We know the lay of the land, we know the First Nations and a lot of the challenges that are out there,” Kosalko said.

“Camps come and go. Communities don’t. Communities stay forever. Our goal is to look at how to make a project sustainable which includes the legacy we’re leaving.”