Welcome to LNIB Business Development Corporation

We are a First Nation enterprise committed to standing on our own feet, and working with progressive partners who share that commitment. Our focus is on being a trustworthy & transparent organization to do business with.

Our Mission and Vision

As the designated business entity, the development corporation priorities are wealth creation, employment opportunities, and community development while committing to the stewardship of resources in a manner that provides lasting value for future generations.

As a team, every member of the LNIBDC is committed to:

  • Contribute to the creation of a resilient, healthy, and sustainable LNIB community
  • Create economic wealth and employment opportunities while respecting the values of our Nation

Core Principles and Values

Mutual collaboration: Creating economic wealth for our people with the support of strong Joint Venture partners

A progressive organization: Committed to learning and growth, built on a proud heritage

Extraordinary leadership: A Lower Nicola Band that’s not only forward looking, but seeks out advisors and partners to ensure continuous improvement.

A foundational heritage: We’re building a sustainable future while never forgetting the proud history that got us here.

A workforce you can count on: Skilled, trained, we’ve developed a workforce that LNIB and our JV partners can always rely on.

Encouraging investors: Diverse, committed to growth, a strong workforce – those are the incentives we offer potential investors.

Partnering with LNIBDC Corp has given us a strategic advantage that has let us bid more aggressively on contracts and secure substantial business growth, even through tough economic times.

Nate Schick, Boost2Business Marketing

Key Business Objectives of LNIB Development Corp.

Market Development

One of  LNIBDC’s major goals is the creation of ongoing wealth for the LNIB First Nation. We are well aware that to achieve it, we must work with Joint Venture partners to bring it to reality. At the same time we will ensure that any partnership respects the values of sustainability and environmental protection that are fundamental to the way we live and our honoring of the land.

Partnerships with Major Businesses

Major Business

LNIBDC is proud to be partners with the following companies:

Teck’s Highland Valley Copper Mine (HVC)

An agreement between Teck, the BC Government and LNIB ensures that LNIB shares part of the profits from HVC. HVC will also create annual and long term employment and plans to have more band members working at the mine. The company will also pay into a training fund, administered by LNIB, to support employment and training initiatives for band members, and create a preferential hiring process to guarantee job interviews for qualified LNIB members.

Trans Mountain Pipelines

LNIB members are employed by Kinder Morgan in maintenance of the pipeline through LNIB territory. Although the LNIB band has major concerns about the expansion of the current pipeline, should Trans Mountain receive approval, the

company will ensure employment opportunities, as well as job and safety training for LNIB band members.


The Lower Nicola Indian Band has been involved in numerous joint venture projects with Infracon since 2012. For example, joint venture partnering on two projects with BC Hydro Merritt Area Transmission (MAT) Project resulted in the employment of local First Nations sub-contractors and employees as well as the use of LNIBDC owned equipment.

Transportation Hub

LNIB is at the junction of the Coquihalla Highway (Hwy 5) and 97C to the Okanagan. Almost all traffic destined for Vancouver, Kelowna, Northern BC and the Prairie Provinces passes through this hub at Merritt. Traffic volume, and therefore visits to the Nicola Valley have seen marked increases. Attractive opportunities for development exist in hotel/motel operations, gas bars, restaurants and RV parks.

Proximity to major markets in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland mean that manufacturers who set up business in the hub area have cost effective transit links to their customers.

View our location and maps of the surrounding area.

Our Board of Directors

The Board is comprised of five members. The Board guides and directs the COO, the
investment strategy and portfolio. Board of Directors as of August 2016 are

LNIB Development Corp Organizational Structure

Aaron (Ski’us) Sumexheltza

Aaron (Ski’us) Sumexheltza

Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band - Chairperson of the LNIBDC

Aaron (Ski’us) Sumexheltza was recently elected to his second term as Chief of the Lower Nicola Indian Band. Chief Sumexheltza is a practicing lawyer and has represented clients all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada. His extensive education & experience makes him an invaluable part of LNIBDC.

Ruth Williams

Ruth Williams

Vice Chair at LNIB

Ruth Williams is Vice-Chair of the First Nations Market Housing Fund, and long-time CEO responsible for the success of All Nations Trust Company, in Kamloops, BC

Dennis Coates

Dennis Coates

Legal Consultant

Dennis Coates is a lawyer with extensive experience in First Nations business development, joint venturing, and legal structuring.

Chris Scott

Chris Scott

Business Development Strategist

Chris Scott is a colleague of Chief Clarence Louie and lead behind the business development strategy of the Osoyoos Indian Band, and current Chief Operating Officer of the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation.

Leona Antoine

Leona Antoine

LNIB Councillor

Leona Antoine was elected in October 2016 as a Councillor of LNIB with the Economic Development and Employment Portfolio and Natural Resource Portfolio. Forever an entrepreneur, Leona makes a strong addition to the LNIBDC board.

Management Team

Kevin Ainsworth

Kevin Ainsworth

General Manager
Shirley Rhodes

Shirley Rhodes

Administrative Manager
Don Gossoo, RFT, ATE

Don Gossoo, RFT, ATE

Forestry Manager, Shulus Forest Enterprises
Sukhi Chouhan, CPA, CA, CAFM

Sukhi Chouhan, CPA, CA, CAFM

CFO/Financial Consultant
Greg Hazel

Greg Hazel

Business Analyst Consultant


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