February 2020 – First Mover

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1199442

Contents of this Issue


Page 37 of 79

38 BCBUSINESS FEBRUARY 2020 ADAM BLASBERG Other large enterprises on First Nations reserves include UBC, Vancouver Inter- national Airport and the Ravenswood housing development in North Vancou- ver. Business partnerships of all kinds have greatly expanded over the past four decades, thanks to a concerted effort on all sides—including the federal and provincial governments—to clarify the legal frame- work for what can and can't be done on Indigenous land. While the Haisla have forged a deal with natural gas producers, other B.C. First Nations are trying to shift away from reliance on fossil fuels. Brody Guy is executive director of Coast Funds, a conservation-based investment firm that traces its origins to the 2006 agreement to preserve Great Bear Rainforest on B.C.'s central and northern coast. The Vancouver- headquartered outfit has earmarked $8 million to study how some of the prov- ince's smallest and most remote First Nations communities can participate in the green economy. By 2030, wind, solar, biomass, run-of-river and other carbon- free power generation could help reduce fossil fuel use for those on Haida Gwaii and in the Great Bear Rainforest by 20 percent, Coast Funds estimates. Guy doesn't mince words about what capacity means when it comes to empow- ering First Nations living in those far- flung regions. "Reconciliation between the province and First Nations starts with a recognition of historical and fundamen- tal inequality." He cites the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Opera- tions and Rural Development and its annual budget in the hundreds of mil- lions of dollars. "That money finances a vast bureaucracy to manage land that has never been ceded by First Nations," Guy says. "Elected band members voluntarily do the same work as educated profession- als in government and industry in order to represent their bands' best interests." Standing tall in Tahltan territory Less than a week after the provincial government passed its United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples legislation, Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Gov- ernment in northern B.C., published a column in the Canadian Mining Journal. Day, 32, put renegade jade miners in the Cassiar Mountains on notice: thanks to UNDRIP, their damaging extraction meth- ods would no longer be tolerated. For six years, the Cassiar range in tra- ditional Tahltan territory has been the location for Jade Fever, a popular Discovery Channel Canada reality series about the largely unregulated mining of nephrite, a type of jade. The show has drawn fortune seekers from around the world wanting to bust up and export the green rock to Malay- sia for processing, polishing and profit. According to Day, several of the offend- ing parties have fled the province. "These "OUR FORM OF GOVER- NANCE STRUCTURE AND OUR EXPERIENCE WITH THE MINING INDUSTRY ARE AREAS WHERE I THINK WE CAN HELP OTHER FIRST NATIONS IN THE PROVINCE THRIVE" – CHAD NORMAN DAY PRESIDENT, TAHLTAN CENTRAL GOVERNMENT

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of BCBusiness - February 2020 – First Mover