BCAFN Black Book: First Nations Economic Sustainability Roadmap
This toolkit can provide communities, at all stages of the economic development journey, with resources to support their planning, growth and overall development. It is aimed at supporting Indigenous community members, leaders, Indigenous Economic Development Organization staff and boards, entrepreneurs and anyone else who has an interest. It outlines the processes and structures that can create strong and vibrant economic development strategies, entities and programs that provide support and structure for growth while supporting and respecting the values and priorities of the community.
BCAFN Black Book: Indigenous Leaders’ Business Partnership Roadmap
Although Reserve lands cover only a minute portion of Canada’s land mass, traditional territories are a different story. Especially in BC, there is an expectation that businesses must, at minimum, engage with Indigenous communities when their operations might impact Indigenous title and rights. This expectation is underlined by Federal and Provincial mandates on recognition and reconciliation. While, technically it is the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate, savvy businesses know that engaging with potentially impacted Indigenous communities early and in good faith is essential to project success. This kind of Nation or community to business engagement can provide the business with valuable information about the feasibility of a project and smooth the path to operations. For instance, recent decisions by the BC government to phase out at least 10 fish farms in the Broughton Archipelago, were made largely because these operations do not have the consent of the Indigenous communities they impact. These decisions will have dramatic financial implications for the companies losing farms.
BCAFN Black Book: Indigenous Business Development Corporation Roadmap
Having leadership understand and support economic development is essential, especially where outside businesses come with offers and there is only a small number of prime industries driving economic development. However, there are advantages to having a body, independent from elected leadership, to spearhead community economic development. Some communities have developed Indigenous Economic Development Corporations (IEDCs) to help protect the community from liability, promote multiple business development opportunities, separate business from political cycles and raise capital for realization of potential. Results from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business 2015 research report on Indigenous Economic Development Corporations, Community and Commerce showed IEDCs in every sector of Canada’s economy.
BCAFN Black Book: Indigenous Entrepreneurs Roadmap
Entrepreneurship is rewarding and difficult. It requires, determination, ingenuity and the stamina to keep moving forward, regardless of challenges. This is true for everyone, but for Indigenous entrepreneurs there can be other roadblocks: - Access and rules related to equity/ capital and financing; - The patchwork nature of funding envelopes and available support programs; - The need for a formal business plan and collateral to qualify for financing; - The rural and remote location of many Indigenous communities, and the lack of reliable digital access. This is compounded by the reality that the nature of Indigenous businesses doesn’t always fit conventional, non-Indigenous structures and may not attract support in the same way.