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Sustutdene Eco Resort

British Columbia
Accommodation Services || Food and Beverage Services || Tourism

About Sustutdene Eco Resort

While showing the beauty and fragility of the environment our people inhabit, we will also incorporate educating our guests about the Indigenous People of Canada and the dark history we as a people survived and continue to face. We will also give back to the local communities by investing in language and culture revitalization programs. Our Lodge and company will host Indigenous language and culture revitalization camps for youth, adults, and Elders. We will also host programs that are specifically developed for Indigenous youth who are at risk and vulnerable. Programs for at-risk youth are essential for developing healthy, goal-oriented coping skills and bringing language and culture into their lives.

To protect our lands and traditions adequately, people must be shown its value through lived experience. By operating our business with these values, we believe we can positively impact our environment and traditional ways of knowing and living. It also helps reduce misconceptions about Indigenous people, which brings understanding and respect.

Our business will include running horse-guided tours and other nature-filled adventures. All while showing traditional Indigenous methods, teachings and ways of knowing. We will also offer ATV and snowmobile adventure tours, Heli-Skiing and guided boat tours. There are no other Indigenous-owned and operated eco-tourism businesses within the region. Our unique approach of employing local Indigenous People and spreading awareness of our culture and history will set us apart from our competition within the eco-tourism and indigenous tourism industries.

The ideal customers for our Eco Resort include people passionate about the Earth’s sustainability and those who support Canada’s recent efforts with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Being the first eco-tourist destination within this region will encourage others to follow suit but will also leave us leading the way. We will communicate our value to our target customers through relationships with Indigenous communities, social media, and word of mouth. Our professional approach, reliable services, and safe, family-friendly environment will bring customers back. Our capabilities include knowledge, lived experience in Indigenous culture, and long-term success within other business areas. The resources required to operate this business successfully rely on financial support for the start-up. We will partner with Indigenous communities and businesses to bring in programs for language and culture revitalization programs.

According to the government of Canada, indigenous youth accounted for 8% of Canada’s population, yet they represented 43% of Canada’s admissions to correctional services.

The suicide rate for indigenous people is significantly higher for non-indigenous people, especially for males between the ages 15-24 years (78%) versus non-indigenous males of the same period (11.9%).

One study followed 610 people living in Vancouver, BC, between 2003 – 2014 and found that indigenous youth who used drugs were 12.9 times more likely to die than non-indigenous youth of the same age. This study found that young indigenous women were 12.9 times more likely to die than young indigenous men (8.5), with the leading cause of death being overdose.

We strongly believe this is a direct result of the genocide that indigenous people survived and the systemic racism that they continue to face. Our language, culture and spirituality were stolen and replaced with residential school syndrome and intergenerational trauma.

Children are our future, and they are suffering. Being people who have gone through similar hardships, we will be able to connect with at-risk youth in ways that colonial-based programs cannot. With many indigenous-based programs already existing, we will not have to reinvent the wheel, but we can put our twist on it. A facility that can host culture-based programs in this rural area is vital because none currently exist.

Eric and I both have backgrounds in martial arts and boxing. I have gone to Canadian national competition twice, once at age 17, for amateur boxing, and I recently became a WKU National kickboxing champion and in October 2023 I became a WKU World Champion in the Kick-light division. Eric has a background in amateur boxing, a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and has competed in professional MMA. Eric also recently became a WKU National Champion, and in October 2023, he won Silver at the WKU World Championships in the full-contact division. Dedication to these sports has been the coping mechanism that kept us on a good path in life. Together with traditional ways of healing, we can use our background in sports to mentor and aid in healing. As parents, we understand how important language, culture and positive coping mechanisms are for their future. We want nothing more than to offer everything we can to help support others.

Keywords: Eco-Tourism, Indigenous Tourism, Adventure Tourism


Contact Name: Alana Tevely
Job Title: President
Email Address: sustutdene.ecoresort@outlook.com
Phone Number: 250-877-9502


Office Address
16449 Babine Lake Road
Smithers, BC
V0J 2N7, Canada