Earlier this year, IWC Excavation (IWCE) launched a new Indigenous Inclusion Program and merged these commitments into our day-to-day operations. With a key focus on building meaningful relationships with local Indigenous communities near the areas we work, our aim is to maximize opportunities as it relates to subcontracting, training, and employment.
As part of our Indigenous inclusion program, we developed a list of Indigenous businesses that offer a diverse range of services within our industry across Vancouver Island. One of these businesses, Gus Morris Excavating (GMX), is an Indigenous owned and operated civil construction company from Tsartlip First Nation in Brentwood Bay, BC. GMX is currently offering support to our team and General Contractor, IWCD, on the ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Tribal School Expansion Project located in the community of Brentwood Bay.
“After learning about Gus Morris Excavating’s qualifications and capacity for this scope of work – which includes underground utilities and civil construction; in addition to owning their own fleet of heavy equipment – we were eager to bring them onto this project,” says Jason Whalley, Site Superintendent at IWCE. “This project is located within their traditional territory, so the local and Indigenous perspective to they bring to this project make them a valuable asset to our team.”
In support of the day-to-day earthworks on this project, GMX brings a motivated workforce that is 100% Indigenous. “Our crew is a total of 5 community members, including my son, working in a variety of positions from labourers to equipment operators,” confirms Gus Morris, owner of GMX. “We are proud to be working within our traditional territory on this project. We’re building an important legacy project for our youth with a new school expansion that will be enjoyed for generations to come”.
IWCE’s current scope of work on the ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Tribal School Expansion Project includes utility installations, building excavation, and site preparations which include final finishing on roadways and sidewalks. In addition, Jason Whalley is focusing on supporting GMX’s Indigenous workforce with ongoing guidance and mentorship in the field.
“We are thankful for IWC Excavations for providing incredible support and mentorship to our crews in the field,” concludes Gus Morris. “This opportunity to work alongside experienced professionals has allowed our team to grow in capacity while developing new skills. We hope to continue to work directly with IWC Excavation on projects for years to come”.
The new ȽÁU, WELṈEW̱ Tribal School Expansion Project will include a new recreation centre, in addition to the expansion of the elementary school, secondary school, and parking lot. The overall project value is approximately $10M, with the civil and earthworks component shared between IWCE and GMX representing approximately 10% of this total project value.
If you have a challenging earth-moving project coming up that you’d like to talk to us about, or if you’d like to learn more about any of the information we provided above, please reach out to connect with us at any time.