Steven Stark © Courtesy of Tsawwassen Shuttles Inc.
It is often during life’s darkest moments that our inner resilience shines through to help us triumph over adversity. This is undoubtedly true for Steven Stark, President of Two Worlds Transportation and creator of Tsawwassen Shuttles Inc. (TSI), whose story proves the power of using one’s heritage to overcome darkness and rekindle positive connections with places and people that feel like home.
Stark’s early life was marred with displacement and disconnection. Stark moved frequently as a child due to his stepfather’s work as an independent gold miner, which meant that it was difficult to obtain a diagnosis for Stark’s dyslexia and legal deafness, which led to a speech impediment and a lack of confidence in his intellect growing.
Although Stark received reconstructive ear surgery after his diagnosis, the troubles continued throughout his childhood, marked by challenges and abuse at the hands of his family members—the very people who were meant to be a safe haven for him. At 15, Stark was told to leave home with a one-way ticket to downtown Vancouver, where he made his way to the Okanagan Falls community.
Stark reconnected with his biological father, who welcomed him back to the Tsawwassen First Nation. However, the two men became entangled in the destructive world of addiction. For years, Stark lived under a cloud of drug use, landing him in jail multiple times for various misdemeanour crimes. At age 26, recognizing that his life had veered far off course, Stark reached out for help and began rebuilding and rehabilitating his life with the help of members of his community.
Even amidst his early life struggles, Stark kept his entrepreneurial spirit alive. Once clean, he began taking carpentry classes at Kwantlen Polytechnic University while working as a carpenter and fisherman. At 33, he returned to school at the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) Marine Campus to earn his Master 150GT Certificate.
Leading with Light
In 2011, he established Stark Transportation, later rebranded in 2015 as Tsawwassen Shuttles Inc. (TSI). TSI has garnered attention and accolades for its exceptional land and marine transportation services, serving schools, construction sites, corporate clients, and the tourism industry.
But his work didn’t stop there: Stark became the President of Two Worlds Transportation, an Indigenous-led shuttle and motorcoach service providing innovative, customized, and cost-efficient transportation solutions throughout western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Two Worlds Transportation is a partnership with Traxx, a premium transportation and logistics company.
In Coast Salish, Two Worlds Transportation translates into Naut’samawt, meaning “Working Together as One,” a perfect symbol of Stark’s own story. Today, through determination and perseverance, Stark stands as one of the prominent employers within the Tsawwassen First Nation community, acknowledging that many individuals, particularly within Indigenous communities, face marginalization.
The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) has laid the foundation for acknowledging and protecting the rights and dignity of Indigenous peoples worldwide. Stark’s story showcases how individuals can reclaim their Indigenous heritage and claim a space in today’s business world. He actively seeks opportunities to support his community through charity, government initiatives, employment, training, and business opportunities, weaving his Indigenous identity and heritage into his business experience, proving that there is a place for both.
A firm believer in the power of hard work and second chances, Stark lives by a simple yet powerful philosophy: “Persistence Overcomes Resistance.” From his own experiences, he knows that darkness can be overcome, and he hopes to inspire others to pursue their dreams, regardless of their challenges.
The story doesn’t end here.
Visit stevenstarkfilm.com to learn more.
Tsawwassen Shuttles Inc. are an award winning Indigenous-owned business providing water truck, street sweeping, busing and marine logistical services.