A new First Nations Centre is coming to BC, which will provide guidance about how to capitalize on economic opportunities. The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) announced the launch of a new Centre of Excellence in economic development and a $1.2 million round of funding from the Provincial Government.
Serving First Nations Across the Province
The Centre will enable the sharing of economic development best practices among 204 First Nations across BC from a single hub, and will provide consulting services.
A major driver of this project was the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act Action Plan (DRIPAP) which stipulated ways to help Indigenous groups move toward self-determination through economic development. Facilitating fair participation in industries such as: forestry, oil and gas, and mining is one of the objectives of this initiative for BC’s First Nations communities.
Regional Chief Terry Teegee noted that the Centre faces some obstacles with achieving its mission. First, finding the right people with “Culturally-appropriate expertise” may be difficult. Second, serving both urban and rural First Nations communities may prove to be challenging. Lastly, deciding where to place the central hub will require plenty of thought, as some communities may need the knowledge more than others.
Economic Development for First Nations Communities
A key part of successful economic development is finding partners who are committed to the same mission. GDC has been fortunate to develop relationships and launch projects with joint venture partners. Their expertise, resources and talent have been important contributors to GDC’s economic development initiatives, and the Nation values everything our partners bring to the table.
GDC is an example of economic development for one nation. For real change to happen, every nation should be equipped with the tools to help their community flourish through economic prosperity. With the BCAFN launching their Centre for Excellent in economic development, this vision is one step closer to reality.
Visit the BCAFN website for further updates on the Centre.