(Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver, BC – September 7, 2016) – Yesterday, the BCAFN signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the BC Business Council which outlines a partnership for economic development between First Nations and business leaders in BC, focusing on a shared vision going forward to remedy the negative economic and social outcomes currently facing many First Nations in this Province.
Following that, Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson and Premier Christy Clark announced the Province’s commitment to $2.5 million dollars over three years to support the BCAFN’s Sustainable Economic Development Strategy in British Columbia. This funding will support environmentally responsible economic development in BC as First Nations move forward in developing their own economic opportunities and paths.
Regional Chief Gottfriedson will meet with BC Cabinet Ministers this week as he continues to advocate for a better quality of life for First Nations. “The British Columbia Assembly of First Nations continues to work with First Nations to develop our sustainable economic development and fiscal relations strategy, however, in order to advance reconciliation, we must continue to build bridges —as demonstrated yesterday with our new memorandum of understanding with the B.C. Business Council and the strong commitment of support provided by the Province of BC. It’s not my role to administer this strategy, but to help communicate, educate, and advocate for our First Nations to develop as they see fit. We must work together to ensure more positive, constructive, and meaningful relationships with government and industry, and in turn, we must work together as First Nations Governments to address the poverty in our communities that has sadly become commonplace. It is time for us to start managing wealth rather than administering poverty,” stated BCAFN Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson.