k’awat’si Construction Company – Skilled Trades Delivering Quality Craftsmanship

k’awat’si Construction is a Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw -owned company that employs community members as red seal certified journeyman carpenters and labourers who specialize in wood and steel frame building construction and renovation.

Projects include:

Home renovations on reserve such as full tear downs and rebuilds, kitchen and bathroom remodels and other projects;

The renovation of Pier Side Landing, KEDC’s 55-room waterfront hotel in Port Hardy

North Island’s premier First Nations owned, operated and themed four-star destination Kwa’lilas Hotel, formerly known as the Port Hardy Inn;

The complete construction of the k’awat’si Cold Storage Facility

Managers Profile


Derik has managed many major projects, for both commercial and residential construction. Most recently he has completed 42 units of housing in First Nation communities in the North Island area. Derik was the project lead on the award-winning complete renovation of the Kwa’lilas Hotel in Port Hardy. Derik’s vast experience in all aspects of construction allows him to see issues before they become problems. Derik also has great working relationships with many sub-trades from the North and Mid Island

With over 25 years of experience in the construction industry, Derik has accumulated a good general knowledge of all building trades and building codes.  His early Carpenter training, his respect for master trades people, his desire to learn and research, and his excellent memory eventually led to a successful career as a general contractor managing residential and commercial building projects. 

After several years working in remote locations such as Zeballos and Gilford Island, Derik has been enjoying his latest venture as an employee of KEDC, helping start up the K’awat’si Construction Company. For the past year, he has been learning about the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw community and culture, and their territory where most of the construction projects are based.  

As Manager of the K’awat’si Construction Company, Derik works to maintain good relationships with customers, keep projects moving, stay on budget, and manage work-sites; but it’s not unusual to find him grabbing a saw or hammer while on a site check. He loves sharing his knowledge with others and finding solutions to unique problems. His “tricks of the trades” are never kept secret – instead, he wants all employees to know and use his best tricks!   

His outgoing personality, sense of humour, and hard work ethic combined with an underlying kindness towards those around him, seem to help him build not just buildings, but friendships wherever he works.   When he isn’t dedicating his time and energy to work, Derik returns to his home in Nanaimo where he spends time with his wife and teenagers participating in (or at least watching) activities like drift trekking, dance, rowing, and gymnastics!  Derik also enjoys travelling to other countries with his family

Ryan Handley

Joined K’awat’si Construction Company in 2016. He was hired as a Sub-Contractor by KCC on the Kwa’lilas Hotel project. 

Ryan then moved into a Supervisory and Project Management position with the company in 2017. In 2018 became a full-time employee of KCC with time split between the field and office. Current position Project/Employee Supervisor.

Ryan has 15 years experience in the construction industry. He is dedicated and committed to helping improve current and future industry standards within the company and building strong relationships both with clients and suppliers. With strong team work ethic with attention to detail. Ryan is looking forward to being part of the KEDC management team in all its endeavors 

Ryan Handley born in Grand Forks, BC. He moved to Port Alice in 1986 and then to Port Hardy in 1992. Ryan is married with two boys Griffin and Lucas. Ryan is an avid outdoors man, enjoys fishing and camping. He is a volunteer in the community as President of Tri-Port Minor Baseball and has coached Minor Hockey on the North Island for 10 years with the past 6 years spent with the North Island Eagles organization.

Shawn Hutchinson

Joined K’awat’si Construction Company as a Project manager in early 2020. He brings a varied skill set to the position, holding two red seals and having worked in commercial, industrial, and residential construction and repair. He believes that building strong relationships in his personal and business life is key. He is always up for a challenge and looking for better ways to achieve KCC’s goals. 

Our Works
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Our Offices

Port Hardy

123 456 7890
123 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10160