Indigenous organizations and communities are finding unique partnerships around B.C. to grow their economies. Creativity and collaboration are key to their success. This section shares stories and resources to support First Nations and Indigenous communities reach their economic development goals.
Starting a new business can be hard and risky. Vancouver Island-based Cascadia Seaweed Corporation is leveraging some of B.C.’s valuable natural resources to overcome common obstacles that face start-ups. Beyond accessing a great renewable resource, they are establishing partnerships with Indigenous peoples, local investors, and the B.C. Government’s investor incentive program —the Small Business Venture Capital Tax Credit.
Cliff and Ramona Starr returned to Bella Bella after 11 years away to open a business and have found success through hard work and the support of their community.
This joint venture between the West Moberly First Nations and Saulteau First Nations is creating employment and transforming the way industrial sites are restored, by tapping into traditional ecological knowledge.
Reflecting the will and strength of the Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw people, the establishment of the k̓awat̕si Economic Development Corporation reinvigorated the economic heartbeat of a community.
Indigenous people have been innovating and creating trade opportunities for thousands of years. Through the Northwest Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs (ACE) programs, hundreds of Indigenous entrepreneurs are finding ways to put their entrepreneurial ideas into action to create successful businesses and drive economic growth in their communities. Since 2013, Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneurs programs have graduated more than 275 students in 18 cohorts throughout the province.
The Haida Nation is supporting the socioeconomic well-being of its citizens and protecting important ecosystems on Haida Gwaii through its nation-owned forestry company, Taan Forest.
In B.C.'s remote Central Coast, the Kitasoo/Xai'xais Nation is supporting the local economy with its community-owned seafood company.
Accelerate Okanagan collaborated with Westbank First Nation to provide the Startup Basics program to early-stage entrepreneurs. Customizing the program for Indigenous entrepreneurs created a unique learning opportunity for participants.
Since 2006, the City of Terrace and local Kitselas and Kitsumkalum First Nations have signed a series of cooperation and economic development agreements, signalling a new era in building government to government relationships and paving the way for future collaborations. Benefits have included revenue sharing, and job opportunities for citizens.
A tiny island off northeast Vancouver Island, Cormorant Island is home to the Village of Alert Bay and the ‘Namgis First Nation. A shrinking, aging population and dwindling economy led the two governments to pull together to look hard at the barriers and opportunities for growth. Engaging the community in planning and implementation helped bring immediate success and benefits.
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