Funding for First Nations Communities
First Nations communities across coastal British Columbia have cared for and depended on their traditional territories within this region for their cultural, social, and economic well-being since time immemorial. The regions also have compelling conservation values: magnificent old-growth forest ecosystems representing one of the world’s largest remaining coastal temperate rainforests and supporting wild Pacific salmon, grizzly bears, wolves, and the white “spirit” bear among many other species.
The key to a healthy environment in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii region of British Columbia, Canada is the maintenance of the link between the environment, local First Nations, a sustainable economy, and healthy communities. The way in which First Nations manage the environment and the economy of the region will determine not only their own future, but the future of the region as a whole.
First Nations Funding Programs for Coastal British Columbia
Coast Funds was created to make the vital connection between sustainable development projects that embrace conservation values; the social, cultural and economic well-being of the First Nations communities; and long-term conservation of the region’s unique ecosystems. Designed as a global model of what conservation must become — an inherent part of healthy economies, environments and cultures—our funds are dedicated to empowering the First Nations in the Central and North Coasts and Haida Gwaii in achieving healthy and vibrant economies and communities in tandem with the conservation of their homelands for the benefit of future generations.
Economic Development Funding for First Nations Businesses and Communities
Coast Funds offers economic development funding for First Nations in coastal British Columbia, Canada. This funding program focuses on investment in the start-up or expansion of First Nations owned-and- operated businesses and economic infrastructure that directly supports multiple businesses including entrepreneurs. Since inception, Coast Funds has funded economic development projects including providing First Nations entrepreneur funding, First Nations business expansion funding, funding for First Nations economic infrastructure including broadband internet and transportation infrastructure projects, First Nations tourism funding, funding for First Nations aquaculture businesses, and start-up funding for First Nations’ small businesses.
The economic development fund supports environmentally sound and sustainable economic development activities throughout the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Priority will be given to projects that have positive environmental or social impacts, direct or indirect.
Projects and businesses that may be eligible for funding:
- Shellfish aquaculture
- Technology and communications infrastructure (e.g. broadband internet)*
- Wildlife viewing
- Mushroom harvesting
- Non-timber forest products
- Tourism, including cruises, trails, and strategic cultural/marketing infrastructure*
- Ecosystem-based management compliant forestry operations
- Non-nuclear and non-carbon burning energy projects
- Green building projects
- Small scale, non-toxic, subsurface rock, mineral or gem extraction projects
- Economic development capital corporations that utilize funding standards consistent with the Fund’s policies and guidelines.
- Transportation infrastructure (e.g. airports, wharves, marinas)*
- Small Business infrastructure (e.g. retail market space, small business or artisan incubator facilities)*
- Other infrastructure that will support any of the above projects and businesses.*
* Please note the following are required documents for infrastructure project funding applications:
For an application proposing an infrastructure project to be considered eligible, applicants must submit one of the following documents that will be considered equivalent to a business plan:
- A business plan for a business that will benefit directly from the infrastructure investment; or
- A summary analysis of the projected direct economic benefits to existing businesses in the community, and the potential for creation of new businesses directly resulting from the infrastructure investment.
All infrastructure applications must also include both of the following documents:
- All infrastructure applications must also include both of the following documents:
- A detailed multi-year operating and maintenance (O&M) budget to support the infrastructure.
Learn more about the economic development funding program for First Nations.
Annual Conservation Funding Program for First Nations
Coast Funds offers annual conservation funding for First Nations in coastal British Columbia, Canada. This funding program focuses its project investments on annual support of multi-year conservation programs such as stewardship offices, regional monitoring (Guardian Watchman), heritage and natural resources, training and workforce development for stewardship programs, GIS mapping, technology and equipment for conservation programs, conservancy management, and more.
The conservation fund is a permanent endowment that supports eligible programs and projects focused on sustaining or enhancing the ecological integrity of the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.
Projects that may be eligible for funding:
- Science, research, and monitoring for conservation matters;
- Conservation, Protected Area, and cultural zone resource planning and management consistent with ecosystem-based management;
- First Nation participation in joint conservation management initiatives;
- Protection or interpretation of biophysical or cultural resources in Protected Areas or areas of specific biological or cultural significance;
- Monitoring compliance with conservation management plans;
- Habitat restoration activities;
- Capacity building specific to conservation initiatives (i.e. certified training, workforce development); and
- Planning and development of resource department operating strategic plans, operating plans, or funding applications.
Learn more about the annual conservation funding program for First Nations.
Conservation Project Funding Program for First Nations
Coast Funds offers conservation project funding for First Nations in coastal British Columbia, Canada. This funding program focuses on project-specific funding for conservation initiatives including scientific research on species-at-risk and of priority concern to First Nations, field studies, habitat restoration such as salmon spawning channel restoration and forest (silviculture) regeneration investment, investment in research equipment and technology to build and sustain conservation capacity, conservation-related training programs such as stewardship technician training, small vessel operator training, wilderness first aid, and more.
The conservation fund is a permanent endowment fund that supports eligible programs and projects focused on sustaining or enhancing the ecological integrity of the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Its goals include supporting and enhancing First Nations’:
- Application of traditional ecological and cultural knowledge to the management of ecosystems, protected areas, lands, and resources in the Project Area;
- Participation in the management of protected areas and ecosystems within the Project Area;
- Science, research and monitoring of ecosystem function and processes;
- Collaborative efforts that sustain and enhance the biodiversity, productive capacity and resilience of ecosystems in the Project Area to ensure the sustainability of cultural and traditional resources, such as fish, wildlife, and cedar in perpetuity; and
- Maintenance, restoration, or enhancement of habitats and ecosystem productivity in protected areas to ensure populations of migratory birds are maintained or enhanced, species at risk or of special concern are stabilized and enhanced where possible, and productive riparian areas are maintained and restored; and
- Capacity to maintain a permanent base of jobs – seasonal or full time – to support conservation planning, research, monitoring and interpretation.
Learn more about the conservation project funding program for First Nations.