Working together with businesses, local governments, or other Nations offers undeniable perks. Collaborative business relationships can help all involved parties reach their shared goals faster, provide increased opportunities, offer financial benefits, and contribute to a community’s growth through economic development.
The Benefits of Working Together
Partners can provide additional resources to make economic growth more efficient. At GDC, these relationships help to create jobs for the community, provide new infrastructure, draw more tourism to the area and provide environmental services.
According to Chief Darcy Bear from Whitecap Development Corporation, “The Whitecap Dakota First Nation has improved the quality of life for community members including a reduction in the unemployment rate from over 70% to 6%. Much of this has been accomplished through partnerships.”
Working collaboratively is all about give and take – both partners contribute, although it may be in different ways. Sharing funds, experience, local knowledge, accessing new networks, or other resources are all valuable components to a partnership. Partners also provide lasting value through sharing skills, knowledge, and training from their experts. When partners invest in people, it offers long-term value to a community.
Indigenous Works has more testimonials that speak to the many ways partnerships matter.
Partner with Other Communities or Businesses
Partnering with other Indigenous communities can also bring opportunities to the table. Nations benefit from pooling their resources, including buying supplies in bulk or splitting the costs of research, tourism plans, or infrastructure projects.
Another common partnership in economic development is between a community and a business. GDC has many joint venture partners across several industries who bring assets, such as capital and expertise. Working with these types of partners allows GDC to participate in economic development opportunities that would not be possible without a partner.
Businesses themselves realize the impact of partnerships on the economic development of Indigenous communities. Don Kayne, CEO of Canfor Corporation and Canfor Pulp says, “To ensure that we are representative of the communities in which we operate and help close socio-economic gaps, we understand that it is important to create partnerships and utilize our business activities to promote solutions for economic reconciliation and provide Indigenous peoples with employment and business opportunities.”
Learn About Future Partners Before Entering a Partnership
Choosing the right partner is the first step, and doing research on a group or organization is critical. It ensures a group’s values and business practices align with the community where they want to do business.
Take a look at their previous projects and ask to speak to their previous partners. Through research, communities can learn more about their potential partner’s environmental record, see their financial reports, and have a lawyer review any documents before entering into an agreement.
The Government of BC provides a comprehensive overview for organizations who want to partner with First Nations communities for economic development. These guidelines can help ensure there is a strong foundation to the partnership.
We Know the Value of Collaboration
At GDC, we have several joint venture partnerships in place. Before committing to a project and entering into a contract, we ensure that the scope of the project and our relationships are in the best interests of the community, our shareholders.
The right partner opens up lots of possibilities, and working together can provide great benefits to the economic development of a Nation. For instance, several of our JV partners are active on, not only the LNG Canada project, but several other large industrial projects in North West BC.