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Information Bulletin
VOLUME 4, ISSUE 8
SEPTEMBER 2010



ALL CHIEFS’ TASK FORCE AND FNLC TERMS OF REFERENCE

On March 17, 2005, the BCAFN, FNS and UBCIC signed the Leadership Accord, committing to work together on matters of common concern. The three organizations have since worked as the “First Nations Leadership Council”) have worked to advance issues of priority to First Nations.

At an All-Chiefs’ Assembly held in August 2009, an All-Chiefs’ Task Force was established. Part of the mandate of the Task Force was to undertake a review of work to date under the Leadership Accord.

The Task Force identified an independent consultant to undertake the Leadership Accord Review, presented to First Nations at the May 18-20, 2010 All-Chiefs’ Assembly, and which concluded:

“It is recommended that the First Nations leadership organizations renew their commitment to the principles and objectives of the Leadership Accord, and their support of the Leadership Council. It is also recommended that the political organizations undertake a process of internal renewal to clarify the roles, responsibilities, and terms of reference of the Leadership Council the BCAFN, the UBCIC and the FNS.”

The Leadership Council and the Task Force were directed to follow up on these recommendations by preparing a draft First Nations Leadership Council mandate statement and Terms of Reference, and circulating this document to First Nations for review. The All-Chiefs’ Task Force will also be developing a draft Accountability


Framework and a Process Document for All-Chiefs’ Assemblies for the consideration of First Nations.

This draft First Nations Leadership Council Terms of Reference have been circulated to all First Nations. First Nations are invited and encouraged to review and provide comments on those Terms of Reference by October 30, 2010.

Feedback will be incorporated into the draft Terms of Reference, which will be presented at an All-Chiefs’ Assembly in November 2010. Please direct any questions and feedback to: Maureen Grant (mgrant@ubcic.bc.ca) or Andrea Glickman (andrea@ubcic.bc.ca), Tel: 604-684-0231.

ABORIGINAL TOURISM BC

The Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC) is celebrating the completion of the Klahowya Village in Stanley Park (Klahowya Village). The following items are key successes:

1. The Klahowya Village was attended by 162,509 people over the 73 days experience that began on July 1st and closed Sunday, September 12th, 2010. AtBC’s stated objective was set at 120 000 and the Klahowya Village far exceeded expectations.

2. AtBC hired over 40 Aboriginal individuals to work at the Klahowya Village. This included Aboriginal Trailblazer graduates, current students and Aboriginal individuals pursuing a hospitality and tourism training program. Through AtBC’s Trailblazer program, we were able to provide most of the employees with First Host, World Host and Level 1 First Aid Training. The experience at the Klahowya Village provided all employees with hands on tourism industry experience and our employees acted as wonderful ambassadors to BC’s Aboriginal culture while paying respect to the shared territories of Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh Nations.

3. Klahowya Village was supported through several strategic partnerships built with a number of partners:
a. Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil Waututh Nations
b. Vancouver Parks Board
c. West Coast Sightseeing
d. Tourism Vancouver
e. Vancouver Trolley Company
f. Old Spaghetti Factory
g. Spokes Bike Rentals
h. CIBC
i. Royal Bank
j. First Nations Employment Society
k. Stitsma Employment
l. Vancity
m. Vancouver Sun/Province
n. New Pathways to Gold
o. Terasen Gas, and
p. The Province, through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture, and the Arts (MTCA)

MTCA provided the most significant financial contribution for the Klahowya Village to support the first year. AtBC is already preparing to build on these partnerships and implement a more comprehensive Klahowya Village in 2011. AtBC is pursuing partners to enhance the Klahowya Village in Stanley Park and is exploring support for expansion of a similar type of marketing project in Victoria and a third location in central BC.

4. Finally, AtBC was able to secure world class artisans and performers to showcase their art, song and dance. The artisans were extremely positive with their summer experience and are already planning to fully participate for Klahowya Village locations in 2011.

In summary, the Klahowya Village was an outstanding success based on several critical factors. Media interest remained high throughout the summer and clearly there is a major appetite from consumers both domestically and internationally. AtBC is completing a comprehensive report that will be made public in October 2010.

FIRST NATIONS HEALTH COUNCIL

Provincial Hub Gathering and Health Actions Approach
Community leaders from each of the 25 established community engagement hubs (Hubs) met September 16/17 in Vancouver for the Annual Provincial Hub Gathering. The Gathering provided Hub leaders the opportunity to share information, network, and to receive updates from the First Nations Health Council. At the Gathering, First Nations Health Society (FNHS) staff presented the approach for implementation of health actions. This approach has been agreed to by senior officials from BC, Canada and FNHC and is centered on three principles:

1. Ensure all Tripartite partners are at the table (First Nations, Province, Federal) working together collaboratively to address the health actions areas.

2. Establish processes to implement health actions where First Nations are at the table with Federal and Provincial partners to make decisions at the strategic, planning and implementation levels.

3. When required to ensure health action implementation addresses the service needs of First Nations peoples, System transformation will be established. This transformation may be supported by changes in criteria, funding allocations, policy, priorities, accountability measures or even legislation.
The Health Actions approach calls on hubs and health directors to play leadership roles at 7 Health Actions tables including: Primary Care & Public Health, Mental Health & Addictions, Maternal & Child Health, eHealth, Health Human Resources, Health Planning & Capital, and Research & Surveillance.
An information package outlining the agreed upon approach will be mailed to all BC First Nations Health Directors and senior health leads in early October. Community Hubs are already in the process of sharing this information and working within their regions to appoint representatives to these tables.

First Nations Health Directors Association
In September, the First Nations Health Directors Association (FNHDA) initiated its membership drive. Since forming the FNHDA in April, the regionally appointed board of directors has met 4 times and established a plan to move the FNHDA’s development forward. Early priorities include: recruiting members to the FNHDA, strengthening and clarifying the relationship with the Regional Health Governance Caucuses, and working with Community engagement hubs to strengthen First Nations participation in Federal and Provincial health planning processes. An information package, including a FNHDA membership application form, is being mailed to all First Nations Health Directors and can be found at: http://www.fnhc.ca/index.php/community_engagement/health_directors_association/ 

First Nations Health Society AGM
The first annual general meeting of the FNHS was held September 20th, 2010. At the AGM, an annual report including audited financial statements for 2009-2010 was presented to Society members. The Society completed a successful ‘clean audit’ for the 2009-2010 year signed off by auditors Deloitte and Touche. At the meeting, all members were satisfied that there has been full accountability for all funds and actions for that financial period. The annual report is currently being mailed out to all BC First Nations communities along with a three-year progress report including a financial report detailing expenditures for the 2007-2010 period.
First Nations Health Council members are the members of the FN Health Society, they include: Warner Adam, Chief Margery McRae Chief Bernie Elkins, Gwen Phillips, Chief Ko’waintco Michel, Grand Chief Doug Kelly, Chief Willie Charlie, Charles Nelson, Ernest Armann, Leonard Bob, Cliff Atleo, and Shana Manson.

A new First Nations Governing Body
The Tripartite Basis for a Framework Agreement was initialed by BC, Canada, and FNHC on July 26th, 2010. The agreement sets an agenda to negotiate a legal agreement that will lead to the creation of a new First Nations Health Governing Body (First Nations Health Authority). The First Nations Health Council Chair Doug Kelly and Deputy Chair Warner Adam, along with regional members of the FNHC will be sharing information about the Basis Agreement and next steps, at the UBCIC and First Nations Summit meetings, and through a series of regional fall engagement sessions.

FIRST NATIONS FISHERIES COUNCIL

Council Executive & Priority Areas

September 23, 2010 the First Nations Fisheries Council has appointed new members to its Executive. The Council has appointed as its new co-chairs John Henderson (Coastal) and Grand Chief Ken Malloway (Interior). The portfolio-holders for the Council’s working groups are: Chief Allan Claxton (lead) and Cliff Atleo (alternate) for Aquaculture; Russ Jones for Economic Access; Howie Wright for Co-Management; and Walter Joseph for Food Social and Ceremonial Section 31 (1) Protected Fisheries.

The four joint First Nations Fisheries Council – Fisheries and Oceans Canada working groups are all in the process of developing workplans which will outline priority work for the Working Groups. Please note that background information on all of the priority areas, as well as working group meeting notes are available on the Fisheries Council website at www.FNFisheriesCouncil.ca.

New Pacific Aquaculture Regulations

September 8th, 2010 the 60-day comment window for the draft Pacific Aquaculture Regulations closed. The regulations can still be viewed at http://www.gazette.gc.ca/rp-pr/p1/2010/2010-07-10/html/reg2-eng.html.

Although the comment window has concluded, the assessment of incoming regulations and the associated work related to the development of a policy and management framework for aquaculture remains a priority for the Fisheries Council. The Council, as well as the Aquaculture Working Group, have been working to urge Canada to develop an engagement and consultation strategy which will allow First Nations meaningful input into the development of the new aquaculture management regime.

The Fisheries Council, as well as many other B.C. First Nations and First Nations fisheries organization have been active in corresponding with DFO with respect to concerns and recommendations. Any correspondence provided to the Council, and updated information relating to Aquaculture Working Group is available to First Nations to view on the Fisheries Council’s website: http://www.fnfisheriescouncil.ca/index.php/mission-a-work-of-council/working-groups/aquaculture-working-group.

PICFI

September 22 the Fisheries Council hosted an open call with B.C. First Nations on the issue of the Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative. Fisheries and Oceans Canada provided an update, and members of B.C. First Nations communities posed a number of questions. Additional discussions on PICFI are planned, and interested communities should contact the Council or refer to the Fisheries Council’s listserve for additional information.

Cohen Commission

The Cohen Commission of Inquiry into the Decline of the Sockeye Salmon in the Fraser River is currently in the midst of holding a series of public forums to provide an opportunity for community members to share information relevant to the mandate of the Commission. Upcoming public forums include:
• Chilliwack: September 29 – Coast Hotel Chilliwack – 6:30 pm
• Kamloops: October 21 – Coast Canadian Hotel – 6:30 pm
Further details on locations and times are available at the Commission’s website. All forums are open to the public; however, participants must apply through the Commission website in order to make a presentation at these sessions.

As a reminder, the Commission previously released a schedule of topics for the 2010 evidentiary hearings, which will take place October 25 through December 16. Hearings will be held Monday through Friday, from 9:30 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm each day. Hearings are open to the public and will be held at the Federal Court at 701 West Georgia Street, 8th floor. For further information, please visit: www.cohencommission.ca.

First Nations Fisheries Council Annual Fisheries Assembly

The 2010 Fall Assembly’s theme is ‘Co-Management: Developing a Shared Vision for the Future”, and will take place in Prince Rupert November 2-4, 2010. For online registration and additional information, please see the FNFC website at http://www.fnfisheriescouncil.ca/index.php/the-fn-fisheries-council/meetings/2010-fall-assembly.

Fish in the News

The Fisheries Council continues to maintain an up-to-date archive of media reports relating to fisheries issues in British Columbia of interest to First Nations. The Fisheries Council website also provides the latest information about upcoming meetings, job opportunities, and other fisheries related news. Please see the FNFC website at www.fnfisheriescouncil.ca.

Regional Fisheries Organizations Conference Calls

The next bi-weekly BC First Nations Fisheries Organizations conference calls for B.C. First Nations Fisheries Organizations and technical staff (Tier 1 – internal to First Nations only) will be held:
• Wednesday, October 6 (9:00 am to 10:30 am)
• Wednesday, October 20 (9:00 am to 10:30 am)

Please contact the Fisheries Council for dial-in information and agendas, or refer to past meeting summaries on the FNFC website. Meeting summaries are available to First Nations only; therefore, access is permitted with the use of a username and password. A confidential login is available to anyone who is a member of a B.C. First Nation or who works on behalf of a First Nation in the area of fisheries. For more information on this or any of the items mentioned above please contact the Fisheries Council at info@FNFisheriesCouncil.ca .

JOINT WORKING GROUP ON FIRST NATIONS HERITAGE CONSERVATION

The existing Heritage Conservation Act (HCA) and associated management regime fails to protect our culture and heritage resources and prevents us from protecting our sacred and spiritual sites, the sanctity of our artifacts and the remains of our ancestors in accordance with our own laws and customs. The HCA does not recognize Aboriginal Title & Rights and does not address the needs and interests of First Nations.

The lack of meaningful measures, legislative tools or policies to protect our heritage resources has led to increased frustration within First Nations communities as they continue to be impacted by development activities. To balance this, the BCAFN, FNS and UBCIC agreed to work together with the Province via the Joint Working Group on First Nations Heritage Conservation (JWGFNHC). The Working Group aims to explore options and provide recommendations for improvements in policy and legislation that will adequately address First Nation issues and interests with respect to the protection and conservation of our sacred sites and heritage sites and objects.

As part of our mandate to ensure First Nations feedback and input into this work, the Working Group is organizing a two-day First Nations Heritage Forum to be held in late February 2011 to ensure opportunities are available to provide feedback and input. The Working Group is seeking the presence of representatives from each BC First Nation. The forum will be hosted under the First Nations Leadership Council (BCAFN, FNS & UBCIC) in conjunction with the Nesika Culture & Heritage Society (for more info on the Society, please visit www.nesikasociety.ca). Through the forum, the Working Group seeks to: gather info & statistics on cultural heritage issues in order to establish priorities; gather input on specific issues in First Nations territories; facilitate constructive dialogue on current legislation, policies and best practices within the Archaeology Branch, municipalities and local governments; showcase successful collaborative heritage conservation projects between First Nations, academics, consultants, developers and municipalities; promote networking, support and sharing of templates & working relationships between communities (MOUs, Heritage Protocols & Agreements); and increase awareness of the Working Group and Nesika Culture & Heritage Society and their roles in the communities.

Your feedback and support is integral to the success of the working group in addressing these issues. For more information, to provide feedback, or to report heritage issues in your community, please contact: Maureen Grant or Shannon Cameron at heritage@ubcic.bc.ca Ph: 604-684-0231 Fax: 604-684-5726

FIRST NATIONS ENERGY AND MINING COUNCIL

The BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council (FNEMC) was established in 2008 to advocate for First Nations in BC on energy, mining, and climate change matters. The Council’s mandate is guided by the BC First Nations Energy Action Plan (2007) and the BC First Nations Mineral Exploration and Mining Action Plan (2008).

BC Clean Energy Act

In May 2010 First Nations met at the Chief Joe Mathias Centre to discuss the impending BC Clean Energy Act. First Nations were not supportive of this Act as most First Nations recommendations raised in the Green Energy Task Force were ignored. A joint statement was signed by 47 First Nations requesting a delay of the Act to allow for amendments. The BC government ignored these concerns and passed the act in June. BC is now discussing the terms for the creation of the First Nations Clean Energy Business Fund. The $5 million provincial Fund was approved by Cabinet and they have also suggested to revenue share on all new independent power projects (IPPs). BC Hydro projects, other Crown projects, and projects that are already approved are not eligible for revenue sharing. FNEMC has concerns with BC’s position as all projects should share revenues with the impacted First Nations. BC has sent out a list of questions to all First Nations and we encourage you to respond.

BC Hydro – FNEMC protocol

In June 2010 the FNEMC and BC Hydro signed a protocol to collaborate on a number of areas. These include:
• Support to establish a First Nations resource negotiation support team.
• Development of community energy plans.
• Undertake community energy audits to assist First Nations to conserve energy.
• Support for bioenergy projects to assist remote communities to convert their diesel generators to clean energy production.

The FNEMC and BC Hydro are also working on a number of other initiatives as follows:
• BC Integrated Resource Planning process: BC is undergoing a 20-year planning process to meet customer’s load requirements and a 30-year assessment of transmission requirements. The IRP process is scheduled to run until November 2011. That said, the most important time to help shape the report will be in the next several months. The first public meeting was held on September 14th. We attended and were informed that a separate First Nations process will occur. The First Nations meeting is scheduled for September 24th in Vancouver. FNEMC encourages First Nations to send their own representatives to participate.
• Allteck partnership: The BCFNEMC is working with Allteck Line Contractors to advance the involvement of Aboriginal workers and supplier companies in the electricity sector by partnering on the installation of Smart Meters in all homes in BC. We believe that the Smart Metering Initiative has a lot of potential for providing real opportunities and tangible benefits to First Nations. The work includes the deployment element of the BC Hydro’s Smart Metering Initiative which will replace all of BC Hydro’s existing meters with new meters designed to track how much electricity a customer uses and when – this helps with the management of electricity use and costs. The deployment aspect is the removal of old meters and installation of the new ‘smart’ meters. About 1.8 million meters are to be installed over an 18 month period, and there is a possibility of a long term (up to 10 year) service and maintenance contract. We also need to provide a call centre and support stakeholder engagement. The deployment project value is in the range of $70 million dollars. Unfortunately the Allteck bid was rejected by BC Hydro but we will continue to work with them and the winning company to ensure First Nations jobs and contracts are made a priority.

Industry association table

The First Nations Energy and Mining Council and the First Nations Forestry Council have recently set up a table to discuss areas of mutual interest. Two meetings have been held which focused on how industry and First Nations can better collaborate.

BC bioenergy pilot project

The FNEMC is working in partnership with the BC Bioenergy Network to identify technologies to assist First Nations to enter into the green energy development using bioenergy technology. There are numerous technologies that range from conventional steam generation that produces heat to combined heat and power projects that can create power and heat for a community. The first step is to undertake a pilot project to assist a community that is currently using diesel to generate power and that has sufficient woody biomass in the area to feed a system to power the local community. A handbook will be created to share with other First Nations communities that are interested in converting their diesel systems to renewable biomass generators or other communities that are on grid but have frequent power outages.

First Nations-China strategy

The BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council has seen an increased interest in Chinese investment in Canada and Canadian investment in China. Many of these investments are undertaken without First Nations involvement and we intend to change this by creating awareness among the Chinese investment community. Numerous First Nations mission to China have occurred in recent years and Chinese delegations are in BC every week. As a result we have decided to develop a First Nations-China strategy. The Goals of the strategy are: 1) To take advantage of the increasing investment role of the Chinese government and industry to create FN-Chinese partnerships in natural resource projects. 2) To develop a First Nations policy(ies)/strategy for consideration by the Chiefs as to the rules of engagement for Chinese companies seeking to partner with First Nations. 3) To ensure the Chinese companies are aware of First Nations rights and title and the importance of engaging directly with the impacted First Nations. The long term goal is to create a ‘First Nations China Desk’ that will work with First Nations Chiefs and communities in BC and will be coordinated through the First Nations Energy and Mining Council office.

Mining Free Entry Reform

FNEMC has attempted to engage with MEMPR for more than 1 year to reform the mining free entry system. The Takla First Nations released a report in June titled, Bearing the Burden: The Effects of Mining on First Nations in British Columbia. FNEMC fully supports at Takla’s findings and continues to attempt engage with BC. The following documents can be found on our website
• Environmental assessment solutions paper. This paper provides a solution to the concerns raised by First Nations to the provincial environmental assessment process that includes a shared-decision making EA review
• Sharing the wealth policy document. This paper outlines a path for potential agreements between industry and First Nations for mining and mineral exploration agreements. It states that revenue sharing agreements between the Crown and First Nations are also required and should be negotiated before application to the environmental assessment process.
• Traditional ecological knowledge protocol. Protocols such as these are important before mining projects proceed.
• Mining free entry solutions paper. This paper outlines the antiquated free entry process and identifies solutions for reforms.

First Nations boreal meeting

On May 14, 2010 nine Environmental Non-Government organizations (ENGOs) and 22 Canadian forest companies belonging to the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) announced the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement (CBFA), a three-year agreement to end conflict between them and to work towards improving sustainable forest management practices, advancing forest conservation, improving economic prosperity for forest dependent communities and increasing market recognition for participating companies. First Nations governments were not included in the negotiations of the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement and are not parties to the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. The Carrier Sekani Tribal Council and other BC boreal First Nations organizations began to engage with ENGOs on July 7-8, 2010 in Prince George, BC to gain a better understanding of why First Nations were not involved in the negotiation of the agreement and to determine a way forward. The impacts to the boreal are not just forestry but the cumulative impacts from mining, oil and gas, electricity transmission and pipelines, water and wind development, etc. The CSTC will host a national meeting of the boreal First Nations in Prince George from October 19-21. They invited all the Chiefs to attend the meeting to discuss how to work collaboratively to ensure that Aboriginal rights and title are protected.

FIRST NATIONS FORESTRY COUNCIL

BC Minister of Forests, Pat Bell Meeting

The Ministry of Forests spent the afternoon of June 8, 2010 with First Nations from around BC to discuss the new First Nations Woodlands Tenure and a revised Revenue Sharing model that the MOFR is now using with First Nations in BC. MOFR presentations on the new tenure and the revenue sharing model can be found on the FNFC web site at
www.fnforestrycouncil.ca.

Minister of Forests Pat Bell stated that the Forestry Roundtable Recommendations Report and a previous meeting with the Minister in October 2008 led to the current announcements new tenure and revenue-sharing models. He stated that the transition to area-based long-term tenure will be difficult but that the MOFR is committed to making it happen. The revenue sharing model is also complex but the MOFR has significant staff throughout the province to assist each community in understanding how this model will unfold.

The biggest issue with the new area-based, long-term tenure is where it will be located on the ground and if it is big enough in size to be economically viable. The Minister suggested that communities work together to expand the volume and area to make it more economically viable (as opposed to BC providing adequate area and volume).

The revenue sharing model is based on activity in the forest sector as it relates to revenue received by the province. They propose communities will receive 3% of the revenue received and more if you have reconciliation agreements. The value will be from harvesting within traditional territories and will be averaged over a couple of years. In addition to the basic model of sharing, there is a 4 year transition period to implement this model.

Annual Rent on Forest Tenures

At the 2008 meeting with Minister Pat Bell, First Nations Chiefs and delegates were told to hold off paying Annual Rent on their forest tenure. Later, this commitment was re-confirmed in writing by the Minister (April 1, 2009) and at our recent meeting on June 8, 2010, the Minister indicated rent would be forgiven retroactively to 2008.

Since early June 2010, however, many First Nations have been receiving notices to pay rent, which is contrary to all previous indications from Minister Bell.

The FNFC has a meeting scheduled on September 23rd, 2010 to discuss this issue in hopes of getting a clear understanding of what has transpired and what needs to be done.

Mountain Pine Beetle

Fire season this year was slow to develop, however, at the beginning of August many fires have erupted and in our communities we have seen evacuation and evacuation alerts. This is not uncommon but could be reduced with the many needed investments in fuel management projects.

Forest fire history in BC has been increasing dramatically in the past two seasons. In 2009 a record amount was spent on forest fires, which was more than $400 million. The 2010 season was much reduced in length due to weather, however, the costs may be similar and the risks to communities were significant.

The federal government has indicated on almost all fronts the Mountain Pine Beetle issue is over and there are no new program dollars for MPB. This troubling situation has turned the resource management issue of MPB’s into a health and safety issue based on fuel loads that have not yet been treated. In many cases we have now done the plans and prescriptions, but there is no money for the treatment work.

Bioenergy

As a by-product of the MPB situation, FNFC is looking at a community fuel switching project with the BC Bioenergy Network and the BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council. With this project we hope to raise the funds needed to implement a fuel switch (diesel to bioenergy) project in the community of Kwadacha that will enable the use of wood waste as an alternative to diesel. The FNFC will assist with understanding and acquiring the adequate tenure for feed stock and participate in the development of a guidebook that will allow many more First Nations to develop this same opportunity.

Marketing and Branding

During the Wood Products Technical Support Program that was delivered by FNFC, marketing and branding was identified as a key issue limiting the business development of forestry in our communities. As such, research on markets has occurred over the past 2 years and a strategic blueprint for marketing and branding has been developed. Please visit our website www.fnforestrycouncil.ca to review the Strategic Blueprint on Marketing and Branding document.

FNFC is now working to implement this strategy by fund raising and business support in marketing.

Financial Report

The FNFC budget for 2010-2011 is not a healthy budget; however, we are able to keep the doors open at our office 615-100 Park Royal South. Because of reduced funding we do not have program dollars at a level that justify the current admin and overhead costs.

We will continue to strive for adequate funding in various programs and will make further reductions in our organization as needed.

In the past the FNFC had envisioned a program in MPB that lasted approximately 10 years and delivered $20 million per year to our communities affected by the MPB epidemic. We had also looked at developing capacity support programs in value added, tenure management and marketing forest products. These areas of program development assisted with sustainable resource management and economic development have not received the funding as originally envisioned.

FIRST NATIONS TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL

Check out the revised Business and Economic Development tab on the First Nations BC Portal (www.fnbc.info). Our goal is to make this the ‘go to’ place for business and economic development information, so please send your suggestions for content to heather.bohn@fntc.info. Watch the portal for our first blogger, Kekinusuqs (Judith Sayers), who will be discussing topics affecting communities in BC and looking for your comments. Is your community working on an innovative project? Look for the ‘Spotlight on Communities’ soon to be up on the Portal where we’ll feature First Nations who are leading exciting projects that other communities might want to replicate.

FNTC is working closely with the First Nations Emergency Services Society (FNESS) to complete the installation of C-Band satellites in remote communities. Audits of the installations in Uchucklesaht and Kwadacha have provided FNTC an opportunity to visit the communities and to begin capacity planning. Over the next few weeks we will be in Tsay Key Dene, Prophet River and Samahquam. This is an opportunity for FNTC to work with community champions to develop a robust Community Technology Plan. Installations of the remaining sites will begin over the next few weeks.

A Digitization Toolkit is being developed through some ‘hands-on’ work being done with Heiltsuk, Namgis and Ktunaxa. As a result of this project, sponsored by the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre at UBC, FNTC will purchase 2 state of the art audio digitizing units to preserve and convert fragile audio tapes. Upon completion of the project, these units will become available for loan to other communities to digitize their audio tapes.

As part of the Capacity Plan, FNTC supported a project in Doig River where a number of youth worked with Elders and other community leaders to learn GPS Technology to map historic trails in their territory. In addition to learning how to gather data for the maps and bushwhacking that made the trails more accessible, the youth learned about the traditional use of the area, including hunting and traditional medicine gathering sites. The project DVD “Makénúúnatane: Dreamer’s Trails Youth GPS Trail Mapping and Traditional Camp Development 2010” is available on the First Nations in BC web portal.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

The BC First Nations Economic Development Action Plan was adopted by resolution of the BCAFN, FNS and UBCIC in 2008. A volunteer Working Group (composed of First Nations organizations, committees, governments, and educational institutions is coordinating the implementation of current priorities under the Action Plan.

In the spring, an environmental scan was conducted to develop an inventory of economic development related tools, programs, and supports, and make recommendations for the further development of tools for First Nations communities. This inventory of existing tools and resources will be posted to the new BC First Nations web portal.

Through the scan, a recommendation was also made regarding a BC-specific economic development toolkit for First Nations leaders, community members, and economic development officers. The Working Group is currently collaborating on this priority issue, amongst a number of others.

The Working Group hopes to fully report on its activities, and obtain feedback and direction from First Nations economic development officers at a conference in early 2011.

Work on these priorities is resourced through the contributions of First Nations and other partner organizations that have geared their existing resources towards the priorities established by First Nations in the Economic Development Action Plan.

Please contact Harmony Johnson at hjohnson@fns.bc.ca with any questions.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

• FNS Meeting: September 29-October 1, 2010 (North Vancouver)
• National meeting of the boreal First Nations: October 19-21 (Prince George)
• First Nations Fisheries Council 2010 Assembly: November 2-4, 2010 (Prince Rupert)

UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

 

 

 

 

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