ABOUT NAOKA INC.
Naoka Inc. is an Alberta-based company that manufactures vehicle safety whips and buggy whips.
WHO WE ARE
Naoka Incorporated is an Indigenous-owned company located in Strathcona County, Alberta.
We are in the business of demonstrating unquestionable ethical approaches to industry performance, innovation, and professionalism. We light up the Safety World.
Naoka Incorporated designs and manufactures high-quality Vehicle Safety Whips, Buggy whips, and other safety products to serve our customers with consistent innovative development designs that contribute to a safer workplace. Naoka Incorporated distributes its products through established dealers.
OUR BUSINESS MANDATE
One of our aims is to support local businesses by sourcing available supplies in Canada.
It is our belief that while purchasing policies and practices have traditionally focused narrowly on price, consumers are increasingly incorporating ethical and sustainability considerations into purchasing decisions. Local companies form the backbone of the economy; yet, the link between the impacts of purchasing on economic development is rarely made. Purchasing can be used to reinforce economic development and support strong communities.
It is through persistence and determination to improve the economic circumstances of the Indigenous community as well as the Canadian economy that the company remains focussed on these small yet meaningful advances while maintaining a profitable business.
The word Naoka comes from the Dene Language meaning Northern Lights.
Our company has its roots established in Northern Alberta and its ownership originating from further north in Canada's Northwest Territories. To the Dene, the Northern Lights have significance in our history, legends, and culture. To our owners, the name also represents a family connection.
Over the course of mankind's history, the Northern Lights have represented many things to many cultures. Some of you may know Naoka as the Aurora Borealis - named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas.
As our name suggests, we understand the harsh conditions of Canada's North, and our product lines demonstrate our commitment to safety in these conditions.
Naoka is a Natural Phenomenon in Safety Manufacturing.
B. MGT, CAFM, PAED
Shelly Mandeville is the CEO and co-founder of three companies operating in the Northwest Territories (NWT) and Alberta. She was born in NWT into a Dene-Métisfamily and is a direct descendant of Chief KaTayWee, also known as Le Camarade de Mandeville, instrumental in the peace treaty between Akaitcho and Edzo.
As one of very few women to lead a 100% Indigenous-owned company operating in the oil and gas industry, Shelly serves as an example of a woman who has rightfully taken her place in a historically male-dominated industry. Her tenacity and unwavering commitment to the betterment of Indigenous peoples through economic development has impacted the lives of communities, individuals, her employees, and her peers. Respected for her ability to lead with courage, Shelly is known as a human catalyst for economic and personal growth, as well as for her keen socio-
Shelly supports students through Naoka Inc. by allowing it to serve as a case study for MBA and business program undergrads who work to solve various strategic and marketing challenges. Her company has also participated in research with respect to Women-led SMEs and International Strategy Modes.
I grew up in an entrepreneurial household that often had been involved in the oil and gas industry. Right out of high-school I was operating heavy equipment on large job-sites building infrastructure in Alberta. That experience led me to fully understand that safety is a top priority in my life and in the lives of so many others’. Once my own family unit was started it became imperative that the father of my children returns home and having the opportunity to be part of the safety industry for oil and gas was a no brainer.
I began working at Naoka Inc. in 2013 as an assembly line worker and eventually became the office manager. I have worked as the administration and bookkeeper for Naoka Inc. for several years and it is a joy to deliver services that ensure customers are provided the best equipment to do the job required.
I am a descendent of the Chipewyan and South Slavey Dene residing on Treaty 6 territory. As the company’s namesake, I grew up in the industry and began working in the shop once I became of age as an assembly line worker. I am so glad I was able to learn the manufacturing process from start to finish as it gave me perspective on the most efficient way to provide quality products and how to educate employees on best practices. Creating the best products on the market is what I strive to perfect.
I have worked at Naoka Incorporated for 5 years and am now the Production Manager. I work closely with the products and manage employees at one of the shops. This is my family’s business and those I work with are always considered to be like extended family. The employees are the backbone of any small business and providing them with a livable wage and additional benefits shows the appreciation we have for their hard work to keep this business alive.
Marko immigrated to Canada after working in the Automotive Industry in Europe and began working for Naoka Incorporated part time in 2013. Eventually, he switched to full-time once discovering the freedom that comes from working in a company that urges employees to work within their own schedule. Because Naoka Inc. is a close-knit family company it was easy to participate in it’s continued growth over the next 9 years. With a diploma in Electronic Engineering Technology, Marko was quickly integrated into the research and development of Naoka Inc. products and continues to work as the Manufacturing Supervisor to ensure quality control of everything that is delivered.
Naoka Inc. employs over 70%, Indigenous members.
The long-term objective is to expand the employment opportunities for Indigenous People at every education and skill level. All businesses require input from legal, financial, and accounting professionals. The Manufacturing business format requires inputs from skilled and unskilled labour-force. A key objective is to involve as many of those professionals, skilled and unskilled labourers from the Indigenous community at large.
It is a firm belief that a synergistic phenomena can be obtained in working with like-minded yet diverse individuals; thus the company slogan “A Natural Phenomenon in Safety Manufacturing”.