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Blueberry River launches new company, introduces CEO

Outgoing Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman to head new resources venture
Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman speaking at a farewell event in her honour Sept. 29, 2022.

The Blueberry River First Nations has established a new business enterprise.

Known as Blueberry River Resources, the idea is to create economic growth for the community, including outside of its boundaries.

“BRFN was rewarded $35 million dollars for land restoration from the Cumulative Damages Claim,” said a letter earlier this week from its Chief and council.

“We believe the best way to invest this money is through creating a restoration business outside of the nation.”

On Wednesday, it announced the appointment of outgoing Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman as the company’s CEO.

“Lori is the ideal candidate to help launch Blueberry River Resources into a successful business for our lands, water, wildlife, and people,” said the statement.

As part of the plan, the First Nation has already purchased a building in the city.

“We expect this venture to grow quickly and look forward to creating more job opportunities for BRFN members within our nation as well as in the City of Fort St. John.”

In a statement that followed Wednesday with news of the appointment of a CEO, chief Judy Desjarlais called Ackerman a community champion.

“She brings a wealth of expertise in the areas of business management, resource development, community infrastructure, and stakeholder engagement.”

“The Blueberry River First Nations and its leadership have done a significant amount of work preparing to move forward with a structure that acknowledges opportunities for reconciliation and economic benefit for its members and ultimately our region,” added Ackerman.

“I am honoured to have this opportunity.”

The 17-year political veteran begins her new role Nov. 1, just one day after chairing her last council meeting as mayor.

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