My name is Brian Point and I was born and raised in the Chilliwack area and have lived on the Skowkale reserve for most of my life. My late father came from Musqeum and my mother comes from Sumas. I have done what most First Nation people do in this area - I have attended the winter gatherings, I have pulled canoe for many years, and I have attended many of the big drum pow-wows down in the states, here in this area and up country. I know if I look back at my path it has very much been about First Nation culture and heritage. Today is no different, as I still find myself working within the dynamic of First Nation culture and history.
My Business Success Story
Back in the mid 90's I wanted to try something on my own in regards to business. For some reason the inspiration was there, but at the time I did not know what that might be. Until one day, I was at a car show in Abbotsford and I came across this incredible aroma of someone popping popcorn. The sign read "Kettle Korn" - I had no idea what it was and went up to the booth. They gave me a sample and I ended up walking away with their largest size bag. It was so good I could not stop eating it - needless to say, I was intrigued and knew at that moment this was "it". This was "the one" I was going to integrate as my business.
In the early years we actually used my Pontiac Fire Fly to move our gear when we did local events like Seabird Island, Cultus Lake water sports, and Chilliwack's Party in the Park. It took two, sometimes three trips to haul our gear to these events. Later, we borrowed trucks and rented U-Haul trailers whenever we could, especially for places like the Pemberton Rodeo.
Stó:lō Community Futures
I would say about four years elapsed before we heard about Stó:lō Community Futures and how their initiative was put in place to give financial aid to those of us who are in need with existing businesses or for those who would like to start their own. I went through the application process and applied for a small business loan. As part of the process I was required to attend a meeting about grants and other information, which proved to be interesting as other First Nation applicants were also in attendance. Once the loan was approved, I was able to get one of those fully metal covered trailers for hauling our equipment, a bigger canopy, commercial grade I might add, as the canopies sold for private use are flimsy and easily damaged - we knew that all to well! We were also able to expand our product line with the addition of a slush puppy machine. This machine has proven its worth, especially if there is a good heat wave over the duration of an event.
With Stó:lō Community Futures, possibility suddenly becomes reality. The staff at Stó:lō Community Futures helped me and supported me through the process. The initiative of Stó:lō Community Futures has a great deal of nobility. All the items we were able to get through the financial aid of Stó:lō Community Futures will continue to have income potential for many years to come. Also, thanks to all the people - especially the ones that come back time and time again and compliment our popcorn - it is very much appreciated, we hope to see you in our travels.