First Nations Have Created Over 1,250 Jobs, 120 Businesses Since 2008

A report released today identifies job creation, economic diversification, and other outcomes from 15 years of First Nations’ investments in stewardship and economic development in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Sustaining People and Place, published by Coast Funds, describes how conservation financing has benefitted communities and supported the protection of rainforest ecosystems that

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Funding Round-Up: Winter Grants for First Nations

Estimated Reading time

9 Mins

First Nations working to manage their territories and invest in their communities may be eligible to apply for funding from Crown governments, philanthropic foundations, and corporate community investment programs. And, through Coast Funds,  PARTICIPATING FIRST NATIONS in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii may have FUNDING available for stewardship, conservation, and economic development projects in addition to

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2023 in Review: 23 Good News Stories from First Nations

Estimated Reading time

12 Mins

Up and down the coast, First Nations are making headlines, winning recognition for their Guardian and stewardship departments, for their investments in businesses and sustainable energy projects, and for their efforts to revitalize language and culture. In 2023, Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii declared new protected areas, increased the reach of

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Coastal First Nations, Na̲nwak̲olas Council, and Coast Funds Welcome BC’s $60M Investment in the Great Bear Sea

Estimated Reading time

4 Mins

Coastal First Nations, Na̲nwak̲olas Council, and Coast Funds are welcoming the provincial government’s announcement of a $60 million investment in support of Indigenous-led marine conservation, stewardship, and sustainable economic development in the Northern Shelf Bioregion, also known as the Great Bear Sea. BC’s investment forms part of a broader initiative that will bring hundreds of

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Mamalilikulla Debut Video Showcasing IPCA Declaration, Stewardship Aspirations

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

Mamalilikulla First Nation is re-asserting its presence and stewardship responsibilities in the Nation’s traditional territory, which includes Compton Island, Village Island, and a portion of Gilford Island. In support of this important work, the Nation is working with partners, including Coast Funds, to increase their access to self-determined stewardship financing. On November 29, 2021, Mamalilikulla

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Keepers of the Land

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

On the central coast, Kitasoo Xai’xais Nation leaders and youth are reclaiming power, knowledge, and responsibilities their peoples have held for millennia. Through their stewardship authority, Guardian department, youth program, and in everyday life, generations of Kitasoo Xai’xais peoples are drawing upon traditional knowledge and laws to manage their territory and assert their sovereignty. Keepers

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Na̲nwak̲olas Council Celebrates Guardian Graduates

Estimated Reading time

6 Mins

Spirits were high at the Kwanwatsi Big House as family members, community leaders, and partners filled rows of seats to celebrate and recognize graduates of the 2020/2021 Na̲nwak̲olas and Vancouver Island University (VIU) Stewardship Technician Training Program (STTP). About 100 people attended the June 12 ceremony to recognize graduates’ achievements and share words of encouragement

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23 Indigenous-Owned Tourism Businesses to Visit in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii

Estimated Reading time

11 Mins

Indigenous-owned tourism businesses do more than just provide visitors with a transformational opportunity to experience First Nations culture. They raise the profile of Indigenous entrepreneurs, create seasonal and permanent jobs, connect youth to the land, and honour traditional ways of knowing and being. By placing their cultural heritage at the forefront, tourism businesses in the

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Smells Like Success: Coastal First Nations’ Great Bear Rainforest Essential Oils

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

On the central coast of modern-day British Columbia, rainforest ecosystems have always been a source of wealth. That legacy continues today in Great Bear Rainforest Essential Oils, an Indigenous-owned business that draws on traditional stewardship knowledge and demonstrates how non-timber forest products – that are regenerative, not extractive – can create wealth and support families

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This Place Is Who We Are: Stories of Indigenous Strength, Ingenuity, and Connection to the Coast

Estimated Reading time

4 Mins

Newly released, This Place Is Who We Are: Stories of Indigenous Leadership, Resilience and Connection to Homelands journeys into the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii and invites readers to learn about this part of the world through the eyes of leaders and community members from 10 coastal First Nations. From cultural rediscovery on X̱aaydag̱a

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Coast Funds’ 2022 Annual Report Celebrates First Nations’ Leadership in Building a Conservation Economy

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

With new opportunities on the horizon, it’s an exciting time for coastal communities. First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii are declaring new protected areas, scaling up their Guardian programs, investing in sustainable energy infrastructure, and working with partners to secure protections and conservation financing for the Great Bear Sea. Coast Funds

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solar panels placed vericalyy

CEDR Funding Doubled to Support Remote First Nations’ Energy Transition Goals

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

The Community Energy Diesel Reduction (CEDR) program is doubling in size, thanks to a $30 million contribution from the Province of BC. Launched last year, CEDR delivers funding and supports for remote communities, including several First Nations, to reduce their need to purchase diesel for generating electricity and transition to sustainable, self-determined energy sources. CEDR

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With Rinse Rupert Laundry, Gitga’at Development Corporation Puts a New Spin on a Community Space

Estimated Reading time

5 Mins

Gitga’at Development Corporation (GDC), the economic arm of Gitga’at First Nation, purchased a 10,000-square foot office and commercial space in 2017. Since acquiring the building, the GDC has created a community and cultural space for Gitga’at members living in the Prince Rupert area. The space doubles as a commercial hub, expanding the Nation’s economic assets and

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15 First Nations, Crown Governments Endorse Plan for Network of Protected Areas in the Great Bear Sea

Estimated Reading time

5 Mins

After more than a decade of work, First Nations and their partners shared their plan to establish a network of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) along the northern coast of British Columbia. On Saturday, Feb. 4, leaders from 15 First Nations joined representatives from the Governments of Canada and British Columbia to announce their endorsement of

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First Nations Have Created Over 1,250 Jobs, 120 Businesses Since 2008

Estimated Reading time

5 Mins

A report released today identifies job creation, economic diversification, and other outcomes from 15 years of First Nations’ investments in stewardship and economic development in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Sustaining People and Place, published by Coast Funds, describes how conservation financing has benefitted communities and supported the protection of rainforest ecosystems that

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First Nations Invest in Community Energy Plans, Renewable Energy Projects

Estimated Reading time

4 Mins

Through the Community Energy Diesel Reduction (CEDR) program, 12 First Nations that rely on diesel for electricity – including eight communities in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii – will receive $7.1 million for community-driven projects to generate clean electricity, increase energy efficiency, and plan for future needs. Part of the Province of BC’s

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Year in Review: 22 Wins from First Nations in 2022

Estimated Reading time

9 Mins

In 2022, First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii have made headlines for their Guardian and stewardship programs, leadership in sustainable energy, and investments in culture and community-owned businesses. Looking back over the last year, there were many bright spots and important wins. Three First Nations declared Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas

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Coast Funds Welcomes New Director, Finance: Zahra Laarif

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

This fall, Coast Funds welcomed Zahra Laarif to the staff team. As the Director, Finance, Zahra leads on accounting and budgeting, financial reporting, and disbursement of funds, ensuring careful stewardship of funds for First Nations’ conservation, sustainable energy, and economic development projects. Zahra is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA, CGA) with more than 15 years

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COP15: Government of Canada Commits Funding for Indigenous-Led Conservation in the Great Bear Sea

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

Coast Funds welcomes the Government of Canada’s $800-million commitment, announced by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the COP15 conference in Montreal, to supporting four Indigenous-led conservation initiatives, including one in the Great Bear Sea. Along the Pacific coast, 17 First Nations are working through Coastal First Nations and Na̲nwak̲olas Council, with support from Coast Funds

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Guides and Guardians: Blending Ecotourism and Stewardship Training to Build a Conservation Economy

Estimated Reading time

10 Mins

Guardians and Indigenous ecotourism guides have a lot in common. In both roles, trained professionals rely on their knowledge of a Nation’s territory, wildlife behaviour, and stewardship practices in order to carry out their work to guide visitors and monitor territory. Frank Brown, a Haíɫzaqv hereditary Chief and experienced leader in stewardship operations and economic

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Welcoming Coast Funds’ New CEO: Eddy Adra

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

In recruiting for a new CEO, Coast Funds’ board of directors oversaw an extensive and thoughtful recruitment process and partnered with an executive recruitment agency that works with First Nations. Eddy joined Coast Funds in 2018 and served as Director, Finance and Chief Financial Officer before stepping into the role of Acting CEO, following the

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Announcing a New $29-Million Fund for Remote Communities to Switch from Diesel to Renewables

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

Community Energy Diesel Reduction (CEDR) is a key part of the Province’s CleanBC Remote Community Energy Strategy, which aims to reduce diesel consumption for generating electricity by 80 per cent by 2030. To deliver this program, the Province has partnered with the New Relationship Trust (NRT) to facilitate investments with remote communities for community energy

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Tamara Davidson

Coast Funds Welcomes Laanas (Tamara Davidson) to the Board of Directors

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

Coast Funds is pleased to welcome Laanas Tamara Davidson, a member of the Haida Nation and a highly respected planning and governance professional, to its board of directors. The Council of the Haida Nation nominated Tamara for a two-year term, and her appointment was approved by Members at Coast Funds’ annual general meeting on July

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Coast Funds, Nature United Work Together to Decolonize Governance of $110M in First Nations’ Conservation, Economic Funds

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

Through changes to the governance of Coast Funds, an Indigenous-led conservation finance organization, several private funders are working through Nature United to reduce their roles and transfer power to the 27 First Nations and regional alliances leading the stewardship efforts that the funds were designed to support. “These changes are leading the shift to a

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Kitasoo Xai’xais Declare Marine Protected Area in Gitdisdzu Lugyeks (Kitasu Bay)

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

On June 22, Kitasoo / Xai’xais Nation announced the creation of a new, Indigenous-declared marine protected area (MPA) in Gitdisdzu Lugyeks Kitasu Bay, covering 33.5 acres of the Nation’s marine territory. Gitdisdzu Lugyeks, located less than 20 kilometres from Klemtu, is a spiritually significant place for Kitasoo and Xai’xais peoples, and provides rich habitat for

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patricia sayer

Coast Funds Welcomes Patricia Sayer – Manager, Economic Development

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

Please join us in welcoming Patricia Sayer, Manager, Economic Development, to the Coast Funds team. In her new role, Patricia will work with First Nations to identify opportunities, create business plans, manage risks, and evaluate the impacts of their economic investments with Coast Funds. Patricia is a proud Cree-Métis Saulteaux woman from Treaty 4 territory

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Paths to Energy Sovereignty: A Case for Investment in Renewable Energy

Estimated Reading time

5 Mins

Within the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii, there are 11 “off grid” First Nation communities that aren’t connected to British Columbia’s electrical grid. These communities generate their electricity locally and many rely on diesel fuel for all or part of their energy needs. To gain a better understanding of these First Nations’ priorities, and

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Coast Funds Annual Report Highlights First Nations’ Leadership, Investments in Sustainable Economies

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

Through the many challenges 2021 brought, First Nations demonstrated incredible leadership and resilience, working together and with partners to uplift youth, launch businesses, and steward their traditional territories. In our annual report, you’ll hear from community leaders who are managing Guardian programs, investing in ecotourism businesses, and transitioning to renewable energy. In 2021, Coast Funds’

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K’ómoks Guardians’ Restoration Work at Kus-kus-sum Featured on CHEK News

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

Outside of the city of Courtenay, the K’ómoks Guardians are working with Project Watershed Society to restore a former sawmill site, turning the land back into a saltmarsh estuary. Once restoration is complete, the estuary will connect with the Hollyhock Flats and provide quality habitat for fish, birds, and native plants. K’ómoks First Nation has

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melissa and stephanie

Coast Funds Welcomes Two New Staff Members

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

Coast Funds is pleased to welcome two new staff members: Melissa Sevigny, Executive Assistant, and Stephanie Butler, Communications Manager, who joined the team in recent months. With the addition of Melissa and Stephanie’s skills and capacity, Coast Funds remains well positioned to continue providing valued program and funding supports to First Nations in the Great

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woman in a boat checks a book of whale fun diagrams

What Does a Conservation Economy Look Like?

Estimated Reading time

4 Mins

Through a first-of-its-kind conservation financing model, First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii are demonstrating how a conservation economy can protect forest ecosystems while creating jobs and providing clarity for forestry operations. How did we get here? Last week, Coast Funds’ founding partners, board Chair, and CEO were invited to share learnings

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woman in hip waders and blue sweater drags a net through blue water over to a grassy shoreline

Coast Funds Contributes to New International Guide to Sustainable Conservation Finance

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

This month, Coast Funds was featured in Securing Sustainable Financing for Conservation Areas, a newly-published World Bank and World Wildlife Fund guide to project finance for permanence (PFP). The PFP model is designed to create the conditions needed for permanent, sustainable conservation of globally important ecosystems and is being increasingly considered around the world to

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Coast Funds Welcomes Ross Dixon as Director, Development

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

Coast Funds is pleased to announce that Ross Dixon has joined our team as Director, Development. Ross will work in service of First Nations governments to build their endowed funds with Coast Funds to sustainably finance their stewardship authorities.

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Subscribe to Talking Stick

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

Follow along with the amazing stories unfolding in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Sign up to receive the Talking Stick email.

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Indigenous Ways of Giving and Sharing

Estimated Reading time

6 Mins

The International Funders for Indigenous Peoples released a landscape scan report that brings together knowledge about Indigenous-led funds and the wisdom of Indigenous leaders in philanthropy.

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Huux̱ Percy Crosby Steps Down from Coast Funds’ Board

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

Coast Funds’ board of directors today announced that Huux Percy Crosby has tendered his resignation as Chair and is stepping down from the board of directors. We thank Percy for his many contributions to Coast Funds and his dedication to the coastal First Nations we serve.

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Talking Stick – Winter 2021

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

The winter 2021 edition of Talking Stick features the Nawalakw Healing Society and Culture Project, the renewable energy projects of Dzawadaʼenuxw First Nation and Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation, and introduces Trevor Loke as our new Director, Partnership Development.

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Coast Funds featured in Global Report on Conservation Trust Funds

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

Recognizing the Indigenous leadership central to our history and governance, along with a range of achievements by First Nations and Coast Funds since our inception, the Conservation Finance Alliance featured Coast Funds as a case study in its new global report on conservation funds.

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First Nations partner on grizzly bear facial recognition research

Estimated Reading time

4 Mins

The member Nations of Na̲nwak̲olas Council have been enhancing their research capabilities to best manage and steward their territories, which include the diverse habitats of grizzly bears. Part of that work involves investing in and developing a research partnership with the BearID Project, a project that is developing bear facial recognition software.

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Coast Funds Featured in Global Report on Benefits of Conserving Nature

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

A recent McKinsey & Company report examines the significant benefits of protecting our natural world. Coast Funds contributed a case study to the report which explores one of the first “large-scale, multi-party Project Finance for Permanence (PFP) initiatives”—the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements.

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First Nations Announce Over $25 Million in New Renewable Energy Investments to Decarbonize Their Coastal Communities

Estimated Reading time

5 Mins

Coast Funds, Dzawada̱ʼenux̱w First Nation, Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation, and the Province of British Columbia announced over $25 million in new First Nations’ investments to transition coastal communities from dependence on fossil fuel-powered electricity to sustainable, locally powered renewable energy systems, eliminating over 175,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.

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Nisga’a Oolichan Harvesting Featured in New Educational Resource Book

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

A new interactive educational resource that connects children across Canada to the value of the ocean and the blue economy highlights the traditional ocean harvesting practices and technologies of coastal B.C. First Nations, including the history and significance of oolichan harvesting by the Nisg̱a’a Nation throughout history.

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Precedented Times, by Hilistis Pauline Waterfall

Estimated Reading time

7 Mins

Haíɫhzaqv Elder and Knowledge Keeper Hilistis Pauline Waterfall shares her personal story of self-isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic, and explains why living through the current health crisis is a familiar experience to many First Nations Peoples.

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Upholding Each Other in Uncertain Times

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

Coast Funds is striving to uphold the First Nations we serve amidst the challenges we all face with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. On behalf of Coast Funds board and staff, we are wishing you and your loved ones health, safety, and stability in this precarious time.

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Homalco Wildlife & Cultural Tours Featured in Canadian Geographic

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

A new feature in Canadian Geographic showcases how Homalco Wildlife & Cultural Tours has expanded their successful business model by offering visitors a new way to experience Xwémalhkwu (Homalco) culture – while also providing the Nation with an opportunity to heal.

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Coast Funds and the Province Announce New Fund for First Nations’ Investments in Renewable Energy in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii

Estimated Reading time

4 Mins

Coast Funds announced the Renewable Energy for Remote Communities program with the Province of British Columbia today. This initiative, launching in early 2020, will see $7.9 million in new investments made with coastal First Nations towards transitioning their remote communities’ fossil fuel-dependent electrical grids to renewable energy sources.

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Talking Stick — Fall 2019

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

The fall 2019 issue of Talking Stick features West Sea Otter Water Taxi in Rivers Inlet, Bella Guest Cabins in Haíɫzaqv territory, and the appointment of three First Nations women to Coast Funds’ board of directors.

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Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network Featured in Sierra Magazine

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii, and across the entirety of what is now called Canada, have been stewarding their lands and waters for millennia. The pivotal work of Coastal First Nations in laying the groundwork for Indigenous Guardian programs was featured in a recent article by Sierra Magazine.

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Haíɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) and Canada Sign Groundbreaking Haíɫcístut Incremental House Post Agreement

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

Leaders of the Haíɫzaqv Nation and the Government of Canada signed a groundbreaking agreement that provides an investment of $36.96 million over three years in four Haíɫzaqv priority “House Post” areas, and additional funding for fisheries management, including increased training, enforcement authority and joint management of crab and salmon fisheries in Haíɫzaqv Territory.

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Realizing a Vision for Nawalakw Healing Society

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

Nawalakw Healing Society holds a vision of hope for Chief Maxwiyalidizi K’odi Nelson. Chief Maxwiyalidizi’s vision is that Nawalakw will serve as a catalyst for social change and become the first place on earth where Kwak’wala is again spoken immersively. 

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Advancing Reconciliation through Responsible Investment

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

Coast Funds is working to align our investment strategies with our values, including recent work to conduct a proxy voting audit. Responsible investment has emerged as one of the many paths organizations can take to advance reconciliation.

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Na̲nwak̲olas Council Develops Cultural Cedar Strategy

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

Na̲nwak̲olas Council member Nations have developed a strategy to protect the largest and most culturally significant cedars in their territories. The work of the Council was featured in a recent video and article by Hakai Magazine.

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Connected Communities on Haida Gwaii

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2 Mins

A new video series from Connected Communities BC explores place-based and identity-rich stories showcasing how connectivity can and is changing the way communities operate.

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Haida Nation and Communities Collaborate for Community Forest

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

The Council of the Haida Nation (CHN) and communities on Haida Gwaii have worked collaboratively for many years to manage a community forest based on shared principles of stewardship and community benefits and aim to have the forest’s tenure allocated in the coming year. 

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Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network Protects Important Cultural Sites

Estimated Reading time

5 Mins

The Guardian Watchmen programs that collaborate through the Ha-ma-yas Stewardship Network are working to define, identify, verify, and highlight potential protection measures for the rich, cultural and heritage resources within member-nations’ territories.

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First Nations Diversify Economies for Resilience and Sustainability

Estimated Reading time

3 Mins

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.

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The Great Bear Rainforest Comes to BC Classrooms

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

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.

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Great Bear Rainforest Comes to IMAX Screens

Estimated Reading time

2 Mins

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.

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