(Lheidli T’enneh Territory, Prince George, BC – June 14, 2019) – The British Columbia Assembly of First Nation’s (BCAFN) Regional Chief Terry Teegee addressed the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s 9th Annual Indigenous Opportunities Forum today. Indigenous and industry leaders gathered for this event to discuss wise practices for building partnerships that support vibrant and strong First Nations communities in British Columbia.
“First Nations must be made full partners in the development of their economies and projects in their territories,” stated Regional Chief Terry Teegee. Regional Chief Teegee added, “Decisions and policies affecting First Nations must be based on their standards and follow their laws. Canada’s economy will never reach its full potential until the Crown gets serious about implementing and supporting First Nations jurisdiction including the implementation of Bill C-262: An Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”
The BCAFN has released an updated version theBlack Books: The Economic Development Toolkit. The Black Books were developed to support First Nations in understanding how to grow their businesses and participate in the local, regional and international economies.
First Nations are also working to expand the scope of economic development beyond BC in international trade by developing Indigenous Free-Trade Zones to improve inter-Tribal trade and participating in trade missions around the world. Regional Chief Teegee stated, “Trade is the cornerstone of our economies. This will strengthen Indigenous sovereignty and further self-determination to ensure that First Nations communities are able to meet their social, cultural and economic needs.”