James Watson Walkus

Tenacity is worth millions.  Literally.  Forty years ago, a small, leaky, weather beaten skiff named Tenacity set out from Port Hardy, British Columbia.  Her Captain was a fisherman named James Watson Walkus.  Today Tenacity has grown into a $5 million a year enterprise with a flotilla of 19 vessels and a cold storage plant.  James Walkus has grown into a multi-millionaire who owns the largest private commercial fishing fleet on Canada’s west coast.  Tenacity indeed.  But it is tenacity coupled with an earnest and simple faith.  That combination has resulted in a business that employs over 100 people, with real estate holdings in Hawaii, Washington State, and British Columbia.  As member of the Kwakuitl Nation, Mr. Walkus’ life provides an illuminative spiritual example.  His faith was highlighted in an article read by thousands entitled, God is My Co-Captain.  The precepts of faith have enabled him to help create economic development for three reserve communities at the northern tip of Vancouver Island and to build two churches.  He has built both a successful enterprise and a sense of community.  He has proven by example that hope becomes a reality through dedication, commitment and faith.  He received the National Aboriginal Achievement Award in Business and Commerce for his sterling example in navigating his way from ragged rowboat to fine flotilla and enhancing the economic development strategies of this people.