Alumni awards

In addition to the program developers and educators, alumni of the NW-ACE and Haida Owned and Operated programs have won multiple awards. The graduates below received regional or provincial recognition for their entrepreneurial accomplishments.

Christine Moody and Giuliana Hauknes

Christine and Giuliana started Project Hlaana, a company that sells natural spring water infused with traditional herbs, medicines, and berries, all found on their home territory of Haida Gwaii. As top finalist, the team was awarded $2,500 at the 2014 Northwest Innovation Challenge, a competition open to over 100,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, sponsored by the Skeena-Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics in Terrace, BC.

Dana Foster

Dana owns and operates IC Media Inc.,a communications organization, located in Terrace, BC, that implements public awareness strategies to develop and deliver life skills seminars and coaching programs for First Nations communities. Foster was a runner-up in the 2015 Northwest Innovation Challenge.

Nakkita Trimble

Nakkita has revived the art of Nisga’a tattooing in her studio (Gihlee’e) in Prince Rupert. She works closely with Nisga’a Elders to allow the ancient tradition be a modern expression of culture and heritage. In 2018, Nakkita received the BC Achievement Foundation Fulmer Award, which honours “the very best in First Nations art and celebrates cultural tradition.”

Harvey James Russell

Harvey plans to launch a marine-based company that will serve as a research platform and consultant for environmental issues. Russell won second prize in the category of “Best Social Enterprise Idea” at the 2015 Thrive North Business Challenge, a competition open to over 100,000 Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.

Patrick Shannon

Patrick owns and operates a multimedia production studio and creative agency. Patrick has been abundantly successful since the launch of his business, now named InnoNative, winning multiple awards including the “Young Entrepreneur of the Year” award, open to over 200,000 Indigenous people, at the 2015 BC Aboriginal Business Awards.

Ben Davidson

Ben owns and operates All About U Arts, a gallery in Haida Gwaii. In 2014, Ben won the annual BC Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art from the BC Achievement Foundation, and in 2017, at the BC Aboriginal Business Awards, he received the Business of the Year award, for a one to two person enterprise.

Michelle Stoney

Michelle Stoney, From Hazelton, BC, was the 2019 recipient of the Crabtree McLennan Emerging Artist Award. Michelle, a graduate of the ninth cohort of the ACE program, and a member of the ACE-Artists Advisory Board, incorporates form line from her Gitzsan heritage and bright colours with black outlines from her Cree heritage. The award recognized her innovative painting style as well as her goal to contribute positively to the future of First Nations Art.