Manufacturing company breaks ground, big plans to grow
- EFN Staff | June 02, 2017
An Indigenous owned and operated manufacturing shop had a ground-breaking ceremony outside of Regina in mid-April. Robert Tebb is the owner and president of Xtended Hydraulics Inc. which is a full-service machine shop that specializes in hydraulic cylinder repair. Tebb said over the years, the company was sold and renamed until he eventually bought it.
“We choose extended because that’s what hydraulics cylinders do extend and retract and make motion out of different things,” he said. “We kind of figured the name was fitting and when we applied for the name, Saskatchewan legal name register said it was to much of generic name and to make it more specific. We dropped the ‘e’ and just call it Xtended Hydraulics and they said would work.”
He has always prided himself on the history of his family that goes back six generations in Saskatchewan. Tebb said his family founded a small town, now a ghost town, back in 1836 which is why he always had deep roots in the province and has deep ties to Indigenous communities and his Métis history.
“When we bought the business one of our biggest goals was to make sure we trained and hired Indigenous people,” Tebb said. “We were able to just focus on Indigenious employment…the guys I’ve hired, trained and given opportunities to the hardest working and the most loyal, dedicated employees I’ve ever hired.”
On the ground-breaking day, Tebb had an elder attend to cleanse the ground. A smudge and ceremony followed with the first shovel in the ground to celebrate the start of construction. Tebb was surprised that a couple hundred people showed up.
“It was pretty moving. There were people from the Ministry of the Economy and from Economic Development Regina Inc. It was very good turnout,” Tebb said. “The ceremony [the elder] started was very emotional. I felt it was very windy day but it was a very emotional time when he did it,” he said.
Right now, they are at 14 Indigenous employees and they are hoping to double their staff by the time they open in 12 months.
“We really wanted to focus on the fact that we are here to help people gain self worth,” he said. “By creating some careers where people can help feed their family and give them step up. To me that’s the biggest thing.”