Blueberry River Launches New Company and Introduces CEO

Outgoing Fort St. John mayor Lori Ackerman to lead new resource company

Blueberry River First Nations have established a new business enterprise.

Known as Blueberry River Resources, the idea is to create economic growth for the community, including beyond its borders.

“The BRFN has been awarded $35 million for land restoration following the cumulative damages claim,” said a letter earlier this week from its Chief and Council.

“We think the best way to invest that money is to start a restaurant business outside the country.”

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

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

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

“We expect this business to grow rapidly and look forward to creating more employment opportunities for BRFN members within our country as well as in the city of Fort St. John.

In a statement following Wednesday’s announcement of a CEO appointment, Chef Judy Desjarlais called Ackerman a community champion.

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

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

“I am honored to have this opportunity.”

The 17-year-old political veteran begins his new role on November 1, just a day after chairing his last council meeting as mayor.

Carol N. Valencia