Tragic Childhood Paves Path Toward Energy for Indigenous Entrepreneur Chris Sankey – by Gregory John (Energy – August 24, 2020)


When Chris Sankey recalls his childhood, fond memories are intertwined with an inescapable sorrow. The loss of his parents to suicide and cancer, the tragic result of addiction, lack of opportunity and poverty, became the motivation for the 46-year-old father and business owner to change his own family’s future.

“When my parents struggled to pay the bills, put food on the table and clothes on our backs, I felt it immensely,” says Sankey, owner of the Blackfish Group of Companies.

“Their work was seasonal, and the finances didn’t always go where it was needed. I felt helpless and ashamed of what I didn’t have compared to my peers.”

As member of the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation, located 24 kilometres north of Prince Rupert, Sankey has seen firsthand how his coastal community has benefited from working in both fisheries and forestry, which provided employment for his parents while he was growing up.

He’s also watched as opportunities in those industries have all but evaporated. But as those traditional industries have ebbed, Sankey says the energy sector has provided new horizons for both his own young family, as well as his community.

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