First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii are leading the revitalization of their economies and ensuring resilience through diversification. With support from Coast Funds, First Nations have invested over $266 million into the diversification of their economies.
From a scallop farm in Prince Rupert to an oceans forum on Haida Gwaii, First Nations are innovating unique approaches to stewardship and economic development throughout the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.
A new educational website immerses students in learning about the people, plants, and animals of Great Bear Rainforest from the comfort of their classrooms. The Great Bear Rainforest Education & Awareness website explores the rich human cultures, biological diversity, stewardship endeavours of the region.
In the fall of 2017, 13 journalists from across North America descended on the Great Bear Rainforest. Their journey was part of the Great Bear Institute organized by the Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources (IJNR).
A feature-length documentary about the Great Bear Rainforest and the First Nations whose territories span the region premieres in Vancouver on February 12, 2019 and opens to the public in four Canadian cities—Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto, and Sudbury—on February 15.
Updates from Coast Funds Welcome to the winter 2018/19 edition of Talking Stick, a magazine that showcases the stewardship, conservation science, and sustainable development initiatives led by First Nations throughout the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Download the print issue: Winter 2018/19 This issue features two projects that reconnect First Nations with their culture by renewing
An Indigenous ecotourism summit organized by Tides Canada in November 2018 explored the many long-lasting benefits the sector can provide to communities.
Haida Rediscovery camps are revitalizing Haida culture and creating the next generation of leaders to care for and sustain the lands and waters of Haida Gwaii.
As a director and board chair for Coast Funds, Merv Child has guided the organization to provide the highest possible standards of support for the First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.
In 2018, Coast Funds’ board of directors approved $4.8 million to support 23 First Nations-led projects. Each endeavour is making a big impact on the well-being of First Nations communities and showing the world that a sustainable economy is vitally linked to conservation efforts.
Randy Frank is making a big impact on the territory of the K’ómoks First Nation. Frank is both a Guardian Watchman and one half of the team erecting Guardian totem poles throughout K’ómoks territory.
Kitasoo Stewardship Authority and the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Guardian Watchmen busy patrolling their territories, and tracking oversoaked crab traps.
After a forced relocation separated the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations from their homelands, the creation of a Guardian Watchmen program is helping strengthen the Nations’ stewardship practices and cultural connections.
Author Peter Wohlleben is teaming up with Kwiakah First Nation for a segment of a documentary based on his best-selling book, The Hidden Life of Trees.
A new feature in Canadian Geographic showcases the work of the Nuxalk Nation’s Guardian Watchmen program and ancestral governance project.
Na̲nwak̲olas Council has selected Wally Eamer as its nominee on Coast Funds’ board of directors. Eamer has served as a Coast Funds director since 2013 and will continue his current term, shifting into the role of Na̲nwak̲olas nominee effective December 5, 2018.
Haisla Nation is restoring important riparian ecosystems, thus safeguarding important salmon habitat and providing employment for Haisla members.
After being displaced from their territories, the Tlowitsis Nation has searched for a new place to call home. In spring 2018 that search ended as the Nation purchased a 635-acre property outside Campbell River.
The Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation is expanding its stewardship operations in the Great Bear Rainforest with the grand opening of a new stewardship office and accommodations in Klemtu.
The Great Bear Rainforest framework could play a role in protecting the Leuser Ecosystem, the last place on Earth where rhinoceros, elephants, orang-utans and tigers all co-exist in the wild.
Gwa’sala-’Nakwaxda’xw Nations will soon start building a Big House across from their reserve at Tsulquate, adjacent to Port Hardy on northern Vancouver Island.
Journalist Ian Gill examines the Haíłzaqv Nation’s seasonal herring harvest that took place in spring 2018 and the Nation’s efforts to secure control and management of the fishery.
The fall 2018 issue of Talking Stick features Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nations’ economic development corporation, Nisga’a Nation’s oolichan research project and how First Nations are developing highly skilled workforces.
The Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance, including Ultkatcho First Nation, signed a reconciliation agreement with the provincial government.
Through in-depth community consultations, the establishment of the k̓awat̕si Economic Development Corporation reinvigorated the economic heartbeat of a community.
This year marks 25 years since the Council of the Haida Nation and the Government of Canada signed the Gwaii Haanas Agreement. The agreement was the first of its kind and was constructed without compromising Haida rights and title.
Coast Funds’ Board of Directors is pleased to announce Percy Crosby has been elected to the role of Chair.
In early June 2018, the Nisg̱a’a Lisims Government opened the doors of the newly-renovated Vetter Falls Lodge, inviting visitors to share the natural beauty and cultural resources of the Nass Valley.
‘Waadlux̲an KilG̲uhlG̲a (Talking About Everything), a land-sea-people management plan, aims to protect Gwaii Haanas’ ecological and cultural values while also ensuring that livelihoods are protected.
After Ḵ’alii Aksim Lisims (Nass River) oolichan were designated a species-at-risk, the Nisg̱a’a Lisims Government undertook a multi-year research project that would protect their connection to the culturally important fish.
The first ever Reconciliation Framework Agreement for Bioregional Oceans Management and Protection was announced today by Marilyn Slett, Chief Councillor of the Heiltsuk Nation and President of Coastal First Nations, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Through their Coast Funds investments, First Nations have established 14 Guardian Watchmen and regional monitoring programs in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. These programs monitor 2.3 million hectares of land and water, combining traditional stewardship practices with modern science and regional monitoring.
Chief Councillor Marilyn Slett of Heiltsuk Nation has been appointed co-chair of a new Wild Salmon Advisory Council. The Council, announced by the BC government on June 15, is tasked with providing insights and guidance on how best to protect wild salmon and maximize its value.
Coastal Shellfish Corporation is a shellfish hatchery facility and farm owned by Metlakatla Nation. Shellfish farming is considered a sustainable fishing practices and thus is inline with the Nation’s commitment to the sustainable economic activities.
Coast Tsimshian Seafood employs 100 people from Lax Kw’alaams full-time, and during peak season employment reaches 170.
The Central Coast Indigenous Resource Alliance (CCIRA), is expanding on work instigated by Heiltsuk Nation to eradicate invasive species along the central coast of British Columbia.
A recently announced $10 million investment in the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) provides First Nations on Vancouver Island with an additional funding partnership opportunity.
More than 1,200 hectares will be added to the Duu Guusd Heritage Site/Conservancy on Haida Gwaii following a unanimous recommendation by the Haida Gwaii Management Council.
Spencer Greening, a member of the Gitga’at First Nation and PhD candidate at Simon Fraser University, is harnessing Indigenous knowledge to fight for land sovereignty.
Coast Funds’ newly released 2017 Annual Report highlights the impacts First Nations are having on community well-being in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.
The spring 2018 issue of Talking Stick features Kitasoo/Xai’xais’ Spirit Bear Lodge in Klemtu, Nisga’a Nation’s innovative cultural tourism and marketing initiative, and how First Nations are growing resilient economies across the coast.
1998 was the last time members of the Nuxalk Nation witnessed a healthy eulachon run in Bella Coola. This year, Nuxalk are seeing the biggest eulachon run in Bella Coola in 20 years.
The Tlowitsis Nation runs a sustainable aquaculture operation that is part of the natural marine ecosystem at Twin Islands and contributes to enhanced water quality for organisms in adjacent waters.
In October 2017, photographer Richard Sidey visited Gitga’at territory to photograph the rare, white Spirit Bear. He wrote about his experience for SevenSeas Magazine.
Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation youth have written and recorded a song that explores life, culture, and community in place these youth call home, Klemtu in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.
Last summer 17 youth from Haisla Nation spent ten days participating in a cultural revival camp. The focus of the camp was to teach participants about Haisla culture and to be respectful of Haisla resources.
A cultural tourism and marketing initiative developed by the Nisg̲a’a Lisims Government boosts tourism in the Nass Valley, raises the profile of its entrepreneurs, and reinforces the sovereignty and culture of the Nisg̲a’a Nation.
Spirit Bear Lodge, owned and operated by Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation, has become a successful model for conservation-based ecotourism. The Lodge has helped strengthen economic, conservation, and cultural well-being in the community of Klemtu.
The Nisg̲a’a Lisims Government has won an Open for Business Award in the First Nations category. Over the past two years, Nisga’a Lisims Government invested over $1.2 million in infrastructure for tourism and six Nisg̲a’a entrepreneurs.
The Heiltsuk Nation is pleased with Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s announcement on that it is suspending the 2018 commercial roe herring fishery on the Central Coast. The decision will give stocks an opportunity to recover on the central coast.
Representatives of two First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and a conservation financing group are in Colombia this week to share what they’ve learned about supporting environmental stewardship and sustainable economic development.
In Spring 2017 a new Gitga’at Cetacean Research Station was built on Fin Island, Gitga’at Territory. The station allows researchers and Gitga’at Guardians to gain a deeper understanding of whale abundance in the area, and marks the first time Guardians will be able to scan for whales during daylight hours from May to September.
In place of grizzly hunting Homalco and Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nations are building a tourism economy that honours bears, benefits the First Nations and takes their cultural heritage into account
A $45 million investment to provide new and faster internet connections to 154 communities—including 44 First Nations—along the BC coast will be transformative for many First Nations communities.
A new management plan is being developed for Gwaii Haanas that is as unique and interconnected as the place itself. The plan recognizes the interconnectedness of land, sea, and people the region and incorporates Haida priorities and perspectives.
Nuxalk Nation is having a big impact on the landscape of Bella Coola and its members living there. The Nation has developed a groundbreaking housing program designed not only to build homes for its members, but to do so in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable way.
The Gitga’at First Nation celebrated the grand opening of their newly acquired office building in downtown Prince Rupert on December 16, 2017. Purchase of the building allows the Nation to more easily service their community and members living in Prince Rupert.
Spirit Bear Lodge has won the Indigenous Adventure Award at the 2017 International Aboriginal Tourism Awards. The awards recognize and honour Aboriginal tourism leaders from across Canada.
Coast Funds’ director Wally Eamer and the role he played in the ground-breaking Great Bear Rainforests Agreements were recently the subject of an in-depth profile on the Harvard Business School Alumni website.
Kitasoo Seafoods and Kitasoo Development Corporation director Larry Greba were recently featured in the Smithsonian Magazine. Greba spoke with journalist Lorraine Boissoneault about the mysterious and valuable sea cucumber and the role the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation plays in ensuring its population is properly managed.
The Heiltsuk Nation released a report outlining plans to establish an Indigenous Marine Response Centre formalizing the Nation’s role in oil spill prevention and response in its territories.
On our new Facebook space, you’ll hear inspiring stories and see the latest news from First Nations across the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.
Wuikinuxv Nation has developed the 350 kW Nicknaqueet River Hydropower Project, utilizing abundant hydro resources to displace diesel in the remote community of Rivers Inlet. This clean energy projects supplies over 97% of the electricity in Rivers Inlet, does not impact Wuikinuxv’s globally significant salmon runs, and saves the community over $1 million in operating costs a year.
A wild, two-year journey through B.C.’s breathtaking Great Bear Rainforest will soon grace the largest screens in the world as a feature-length IMAX movie.
Na̲nwak̲olas is thrilled to be acquiring the ‘platinum standard setting’ Knight Inlet Lodge – a business that, under the guidance of Dean and Kathy Wyatt, has become the leader in the eco-adventure lodge business in British Columbia, with an international reputation that is second to none.
In 1999 Kitasoo/Xai’xais launched Spirit Bear Lodge from a little red-roofed float house anchored at Klemtu’s docks. Today a luxurious new lodge accommodates visitors from around the world, most of whom come to tour the nearby islands in hope of spotting and photographing bears.
This October, Sevenseas Marine Conservation & Travel Magazine is featuring stories previously published by First Nations in Coast Funds’ Talking Stick as well as features on Marine Planning Partnerships in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.
Coastal First Nations and the Government of Canada have announced new steps towards reconciliation with a new fisheries agreement during a special ceremony on October 11, 2017.
Featured on the business section cover in this week’s Campbell River Mirror, the Wei Wai Kum Nation is serving up a powerful example of how First Nations are investing in the expansion of reliably performing tourism businesses to create significant new sources of revenue and jobs for their people.
The fall 2017 issue of Talking Stick features the Wei Wai Kum Nation’s new seaside cottages in Campbell River, Old Massett Village Council’s longhouse village at Tlielang (Hiellen), and how First Nations are creating family-supporting jobs across the coast.
New solar panels at the Haida Heritage Centre at Ḵay Llnagaay move Skidegate toward energy independence.
By expanding a reliably performing tourism business—Thunderbird RV Park—Wei Wai Kum Nation is investing in economic development to reach new markets, providing significant new sources of revenue and employment for its people.
Indigenous communities across Canada have partnered with Nature United (TNC Canada) to produce a first-of-its-kind Indigenous Guardians’ Toolkit.
Working with the Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department, scientists from Simon Fraser University’s Department of Biological Sciences, University of British Columbia’s Department of Statistics, and the Hakai Institute, the Qqs Projects Society built a traditional fish weir in the lower Koeye River—and then used it to generate a wealth of useful data about salmon health. The
Old Massett Village Council’s promising new venture, Hiellen Longhouse Village, is providing ecotourism experiences of visitors to Haida Gwaii, creating jobs and training for locals, and hosting events that contribute to the Haida Nation’s ongoing cultural revitalization.
A new study in the peer-reviewed open-access journal Ecosphere deepens our understanding of the connections between salmon and bear populations. Using a chemical technique known as stable isotope analysis, researchers examined samples of hair left by more than 1,400 grizzly and black bears from 1995 to 2014 at the places they feed on salmon in more than 690,000 square
On National Aboriginal Day June 21st, Old Massett Village Council is welcoming all community members to participate in a joyful event: the raising of a totem pole at Hiellen Longhouse Village. Located at the mouth of the Hiellen River in Haida territory on Graham Island, this site hosts a thriving Haida-owned business that rents longhouse-styled cabins
The Spring 2017 edition of Talking Stick features a story on the origins and accomplishments of the Coastal Stewardship Network, and reflections from the Council of the Haida Nation on its implementation of the Kunst’aa Guu-Kunst’aayah Reconciliation Protocol.
The Coastal Stewardship Network is supporting its member First Nations as they’ve established sophisticated monitoring programs and their analyses informing vital environmental and resource management decisions.
Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Nation creativity and entrepreneurial optimism shone May 17 in Port Hardy during a ceremony to officially launch the Kwa’lilas Hotel, a game-changing economic venture for its people and a significant contribution to the tourism offerings of Vancouver Island.
By establishing Canada’s first land-based Atlantic salmon aquaculture facility with recirculating aquaculture system technology, the ‘Na̲mg̲is First Nation and its diverse partners are proving that environmentally sustainable salmon farming is possible.
Coast Funds’ newly released 2016 Annual Report includes highlights of an analysis of community well-being outcomes of investments by First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest.
On Saturday, April 1st, a number of us from Coast Funds attended a ceremony held at UBC’s Main Mall to witness a truly unforgettable event: the raising of the Reconciliation Pole.
New research from the Hakai Institute confirms the village site of the Heiltsuk First Nation was occupied by humans as early as 14,000 years ago, which makes it among the oldest of human settlements in North America.
Indigenous guardians programs’ delivery of multiple public benefits merits recognition in the Government of Canada’s annual budget.
An excellent new feature in Nature Conservancy Magazine explores how the Supporting Emerging Aboriginal Stewards program of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation not only brings life-changing experiences to young people but also represents a strategic investment in conservation.
Coast Funds is pleased to announce a new strategic plan focusing our efforts on three key goals in support of First Nations throughout the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii regions of coastal British Columbia.
The State of the Gitga’at Ocean Report aims to present Gitga’at members, leaders and research partners with the outcomes of key monitoring activities that have been occurring in the territory in recent years.
Applications are being sought for Indigenous economic growth and clean technology under a new call for proposals from Western Economic Diversification Canada.
The Nisga’a Nation has launched a comprehensive new destination marketing program with a new website, auto tour, and international marketing campaigns.
We’re pleased to announce that Coast Funds has moved to a new downtown Vancouver location. The original location served us well, and our new location is the start of a new chapter in Coast Funds’ history.
The federal government plans to establish Indigenous Canadian Coast Guard auxiliary units to expand its marine emergency response in partnership with coastal First Nations.
Westcoast Resorts, a Haida owned and operated premium fishing resort operator, announces major enhancements to fishing lodges based on Haida Gwaii and the launch of a new eco-adventure Haida cultural lodge in 2017.
The Súa Youth Cultural Program is providing opportunities for Kitasoo/ Xai’xais youth to explore their culture while fostering values that will prepare them to be successful in school and work.
Featuring the Kitasoo/Xai’xais, Homalco, Heiltsuk, and Haida Nations, the Globe and Mail explores how Coast Funds supports human well-being in the Great Bear Rainforest.
First Nations are developing a conservation-based economy throughout coastal British Columbia and have announced the latest results from their ongoing environmental stewardship and sustainable development efforts today.
The summer 2016 issue of Talking Stick features the stewardship work of the Heiltsuk Nation to protect Central Coast herring and Kwiakah Nation’s research and restoration work in Phillips Arm.
In 2009, the Haida Nation and Province of BC signed a historic protocol agreement that ensures protection for cultural features and sensitive ecosystems on Haida Gwaii.