Endeavours in Entrepreneurship

I attended an entrepreneurship program between October and December. The program is called the Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Skills Training program or “Aboriginal BEST”. Once you get past the acronym, it’s a really good program. The program is funded by the federal and provincial governments, so it’s free for First Nation, Métis and Inuit people as part of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation policy.

The program is for people who have a solid idea and want to see it happen, and for those who have an interest in business but no specific idea as of yet, and to be honest, anyone in-between. This is the impression I got anyways, with the motivational instruction of Flavio Caron, who was one of the program coordinators for the Aboriginal BEST program.

There are twelve sessions, including the following topics :

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Market Research
  • Competitors, Competition and Competitive Advantage
  • Marketing
  • Laws and Insurance
  • Funding: Where will you get the Money?
  • Tax, Suppliers, the Hired Help, Production Process and Capability, Professional Advisors, Financial Institutions
  • Personal Budget and Net Worth
  • Costs and Pricing
  • Start Up and Cash Flow
  • Technology
  • Business Plan Executive Summary

The amount of material may seem intimidating, but it’s really not, because the coordinators are extremely friendly and accommodating and they allow you to go at your own pace.

Personally, I love learning about business and the aspects of running a business, but I have never had so much fun while soaking in so much information.  A lot of it had to do with the fact that I really enjoyed the topic, but a lot of it also had to do with just being around so many like-minded people.

If you’ve ever considered running a business , I would really encourage you to take a look at the Aboriginal BEST website and get a hold of the contact in your area. Best of luck!

Suggestions for a Conservation Program at NEC

I would like to start a Conservation Program at the school and I would be happy to have the support of the students and staff. NEC’s traditional longhouse design, with it’s cedar post and beam construction, botanical garden, large bay windows and skylights brings elements of the natural world into the busy city and transforms the atmosphere of the school. However, some of the inefficiencies relating to its 1985 construction are evident.

Here are some of my ideas to improve energy efficiency:

  • Add window film to windows
  • Switch to T8 fluorescent lighting
  • Add weather-stripping to windows
  • Install efficient-flow aerators on faucets
  • Set up the power-saving mode on computers
  • Install water displacement devices in the toilets

BC Hydro’s Power Smart Product Incentive Program offers rebates to organizations for switching to more efficient lighting, as well as for other technologies.

Meanwhile, all of my other suggestions are easily affordable, do-it-yourself projects. Not to mention, these are just some things I came up with a brief observation of the school. There might be other opportunities for cost savings and conservation, even though I notice great initiatives toward conservation already.

BC Hydro also offers programs for residential customers, that may benefit you:

1)    The Energy Saving Kit Program

BC Hydro and Terasen Gas partnered to provide free energy saving kits for low income households. Our free kit offers a variety of simple ways to help you save energy.

Follow the link below, for information on how to apply:


2)    The Energy Conservation Assistance Program

The Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP) will provide qualified low-income BC Hydro residential account holders with a home energy evaluation, the installation of energy saving products, and personalized energy efficiency advice. All of this is free of charge to the participant.

Energy saving products that may be installed include:

  • Energy saving light bulbs (compact fluorescent lamps) indoor and outdoor,
  • Faucet aerators for the kitchen and bathroom,
  • Low-flow showerhead,
  • Water heater pipe wrap and blanket,
  • Draft proofing, such as weatherstripping, caulking and outlet gaskets,
  • Insulation for attics, walls and crawlspaces,
  • Low-wattage night light,
  • ENERGY STAR® refrigerator

Every home is different. Your home evaluator will determine which energy efficiency upgrades your home is eligible for. The installation of some products may require multiple visits.

Follow the link below, for information on how to apply:


Eating with our Ancestors in Mind

My name is Sheena and I am halfway through the first year of Aboriginal Tourism Operations at NEC. I’m really enjoying it so far, the content is relevant, the staff and students are respectful, and the atmosphere at the school is simply beyond compare.

Eat Right for Your TypeIn the tourism industry, appearance is important, so I have started the Blood Type Diet for blood types O, in hopes to portray a healthy image. The blood type diet is a nutritional plan made famous by the book “Eat Right for Your Type.” It’s all about eating foods that are compatible with your blood type, for health and longevity.

These can be the same foods your ancestors ate or these can be exotic foods, metabolically similar to what your ancestors ate. According to your blood type, there are foods that work for you (which can have healing properties) or foods that work against you (which can have disease promoting properties).

If you’re anything like me, you’ve struggled to eat healthy, especially when pressed for time and faced with commitments like work or school.  This is my biggest dilemma, but I am finding ways to combat this issue and eat with my ancestor’s in mind, even in today’s fast paced times.  I am planning to share my favourite on-the-go recipes as well as my favourite quick and easy switches to the “Eat Right for Your Type” lifestyle.

So, if you’re blood type O and you’re interested in finding out what you can do to make a few simple changes towards a healthier you, take a look at my personal blog: http://wildflowerpetals.blogspot.com/ On there, I will have examples of what has worked for me, what hasn’t, what tasted good, what didn’t, detailed week-by-week meal plans, instructional videos and useful resources I’ve come across along the way.