Haida field workers conduct research on stads k'un

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

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

Estimated Reading time

5 Minutes

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 Minutes

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 minutes

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 minutes

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 Minutes

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 minutes

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 minutes

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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Tamara Davidson

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

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

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)

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

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 minutes

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

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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First Nations partner on grizzly bear facial recognition research

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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Haida Nation and Communities Collaborate for Community Forest

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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The Great Bear Rainforest Comes to BC Classrooms

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

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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Talking Stick – Winter 2018/19

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

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