Indigenous culture and beliefs core to business success


The Steel River Group


General Inquiries:

Calgary Corporate Office

Suite 2450, 330 – 5th Avenue SW

Calgary, Alberta  T2P 0L4

Ph:  1-403-930-0387

Edmonton Operational Office

Suite 279, 2055 Premier Way

Sherwood Park, Alberta  T8H 0G2

Ph: 1-780-570-0055

Trent Fequet, president and CEO of the Steel River Group of Calgary, had the business plan developed for his enterprise six or seven years ago, but it wasn’t until he and is wife became expectant parents that Trent felt it was the right time to put the plan into action.

“If I was going to take the opportunity to be an entrepreneur again, this would be a great time to do it.”

He never thought, however, that in the two or three years since that decision there would be so much growth.

The Steel River Group is a diverse management entity that takes Fequet’s experience in construction and work with First Nations to help them become aligned internally, politically, economically and socially—“wherever the community needed our support” —and become equipped to be a proactive partner with industry.

 Fequet believes that being Indigenous in business comes with a lot of advantages.

“Inherently, we are survivors. We are very resilient. When you look at the economy in Western Canada in, say, the last five, six years you can see that maybe it was a tough time. I think we are extremely good at adapting. You need to always be adapting.”

He said there are things that non-Indigenous peoples can learn from Indigenous culture and beliefs, and he thinks his business is a prime example of that.

His core business is developed around Indigenous beliefs with the people employed and the relationships cultivated and how he personally treats people,  Fequet said. And that is core to his success.

Fequet looks to his mother as a mentor in many ways.

“We have a strong personal relationship, plus she’s a very successful woman. She’s been the executive director of our association back in our community for 32 years. I have a lot of respect for her. She’s been a mentor to me all my life.”

Also providing business mentorship is personal friend and owner of Allnorth Engineering, Darby Kreitz.

“He’s been a key factor in the success of my business over the last few years.”

Fequet says there is a lot of opportunities in the business world for Indigenous peoples, and sometimes those opportunities depend on the industry. His experience is largely in construction, and his opportunity has been found in the larger and ongoing construction projects in the west.