Can First Nations truly be autonomous in all things?

Ensuring access to safe drinking water isn’t simple. It may require guidance and even intervention by the federal government

Can First Nations truly be autonomous in all things?Self-determination for Indigenous communities can prevent meeting certain standards or goals, especially if the federal government takes a hands-off approach. This can be the problem when it comes to ensuring all First Nations have access to safe drinking water, which isn’t a simple matter. It has never been only about providing the necessary funds (whatever…

A path to prosperity for Indigenous communities

Building viable businesses and services on First Nations is the best way to build self-respect, self-determination and self-reliance

A path to prosperity for Indigenous communitiesThere’s little doubt that the condition of Indigenous people is desperate in Canada, especially for those living in the 600 or so small, isolated First Nations communities. Most Canadians know some facts about the quality of lives of the people in these communities but let’s refresh our minds with a few statistics. First Nations have…

How to support Indigenous entrepreneurs on the road to success

Business leaders should help build up capacity through mentorship and coaching, then start looking to spend at Indigenous suppliers

How to support Indigenous entrepreneurs on the road to successJeff and William approached me in the fall of 2019 about helping with their ecotourism business. They started the business in 2014 and wanted help growing it and getting more clients. They felt if they could share their traditions and culture with the world, they could provide meaningful jobs for the youth of their community.…

Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalists

First Nations are fighting to determine their own futures. Why are environmental groups standing in the way?

Indigenous leaders step up but no applause from environmentalistsNot enough has been said about the recent memorandum of understanding between the First Nations Climate Initiative table and the First Nations Major Projects Coalition, which represents 70 First Nations from across Canada. In December 2020, the two parties signed an agreement to advance an Indigenous-led, net-zero carbon-emissions policy framework, including nature-based solutions for carbon…

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries dispute

Non-Indigenous fishers in Atlantic region need not be worried that Indigenous rights will come at the expense of conservation

History shows a path to resolve lobster fisheries disputeA dispute in Ontario may help us understand ongoing tensions over the lobster fisheries on the East Coast and offer a solution. The war over Indigenous fishing rights has played out before in Canada. As we reflect on recent violence in Nova Scotia over the lobster fisheries, it’s important to know if there are any…

How much First Nations business comes from government?

The Yukon government recently unveiled a procurement policy that offers a roadmap for Canadian jurisdictions like B.C.

How much First Nations business comes from government?The Business Council of British Columbia sees “a generational opportunity to accelerate and realize a new future where Indigenous communities and businesses are equitably participating in B.C.’s open trading economy.” And Kim Baird, a First Nations leader and advocate, says: “From resource extraction projects on First Nation traditional territories to First Nations developing their reserve…

Indigenous engagement charts positive course for oil and gas industry

Environmentalists only support Indigenous peoples when the First Nations and Métis agree with them

Indigenous engagement charts positive course for oil and gas industryMuch as opponents of Canadian oil and gas production hate to admit it, the future of the industry appears to be set. Construction on the Coastal GasLink pipeline to Kitimat, B.C., continues. Work on the Trans Mountain pipeline is well advanced. The Canadian portion of Enbridge’s Line 3 is essentially finished. Protests killed the Northern…

Indigenous communities see ocean of opportunity in oil and gas

Indigenous communities see ocean of opportunity in oil and gasEditor’s note: Indigenous communities across Canada are learning how to prosper in a new era of co-operation in oil and gas development. Setting aside old grievances, industry, government and First Nations communities are working together to ensure that, as equal partners, Canada’s Indigenous peoples enjoy employment and sustainable growth trickles down to them. In this…

Showing respect for Indigenous priorities can pay dividends

Showing respect for Indigenous priorities can pay dividendsEditor’s note: Indigenous communities across Canada are learning how to prosper in a new era of co-operation in oil and gas development. Setting aside old grievances, industry, government and First Nations communities are working together to ensure that, as equal partners, Canada’s Indigenous peoples enjoy employment and sustainable growth trickles down to them. “Reconciliation begins…

Indigenous people ready to do business with oil and gas

Road to Reconciliation begins when Indigenous people can stand on their own two feet financially and when their quality of life increases

Indigenous people ready to do business with oil and gasEditor’s note: Indigenous communities across Canada are learning how to prosper in a new era of co-operation in oil and gas development. Setting aside old grievances, industry, government and First Nations communities are working together to ensure that, as equal partners, Canada’s Indigenous peoples enjoy employment and that sustainable growth trickles down to them. In…

From a bitter past to the sweet taste of opportunity

Road to Reconciliation: An examination of what meaningful consultation and economic reconciliation look like

From a bitter past to the sweet taste of opportunityIf you relied on the headlines alone, you might conclude that the Indigenous peoples of Canada are squarely against oil and gas development. You would be wrong. Headlines, by their nature, highlight crisis and conflict in simplified terms. But the debate over Indigenous support for resource development is highly nuanced. Readers must go beyond the…

We need to liberate Indigenous entrepreneurs

Talented, ambitious and resourceful Indigenous people continue to face systemic obstacles to start businesses

We need to liberate Indigenous entrepreneursA Winnipeg-area Indigenous entrepreneur might hold the key to Indigenous peoples controlling their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. His experience also underscores why it’s so important to unshackle the Indigenous business community and entrepreneurial sector from restrictions imposed by the Indian Act, as well as other non-legislative barriers. Josh Giesbrecht is president and co-founder of…

Want richer First Nations? Say ‘Yes’ to pipelines

There’s no easy way to spur economic opportunity for every remote reserve. But resource-related development will help many

Want richer First Nations? Say ‘Yes’ to pipelines“In less than a decade, the Haisla Nation has leveraged the strategic location of its traditional territory to go from a Nation on the verge of remedial management to an eagerly sought-after partner and key stakeholder in several multi-billion-dollar LNG projects.” – The Haisla First Nation on its website Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian…

Energy industry a pipeline to Indigenous prosperity

The link between oil sands development and First Nations prosperity is clear and profound. Project delays can be devastating

Energy industry a pipeline to Indigenous prosperityBy Mark Milke and Lennie Kaplan Canadian Energy Centre When Teck Resources cancelled its proposed Frontier oil sands project last month, Canada lost more than the government revenues and blue-collar jobs the mine would have created. The loss of this project was also a blow to northern First Nations communities. On average, people who live…

Putting forests to work for Indigenous communities

Governments need to work with First Nations to ensure they have fair access to forest tenure and opportunities for partnerships

Putting forests to work for Indigenous communitiesWhen you think of Indigenous engagement in the natural resource economy, you usually think of opportunities in the oil and gas industry or in mining. However, First Nations are increasingly getting involved in commercial forestry. Certain provinces – including Manitoba – have a sizable forest industry that plays a substantial role in the provincial economy.…