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’ board of directors approved $3.5 million in funding, including:

  • $1.9 million for 12 stewardship and conservation projects; and
  • $1.6 million for eight economic development initiatives.

Each of these projects contributes to positive well-being outcomes for First Nations in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Since 2008, First Nations have:

  • Invested $62.2 million with Coast Funds into economic development and attracted an additional $267 million in investment from other sources.
  • Created 1,198 permanent jobs in fields that pay family-supporting wages, including 364 jobs in manufacturing and processing and 340 jobs in conservation and stewardship.
  • Carried out stewardship work and conservation projects in 113 different protected areas throughout the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.
  • Undertaken 59 projects that help to revitalize Indigenous languages, including Kwak̓wala, Xaad Kíl and Xaaydaa Kil, Haíɫzaqvḷa, and Sm’algyax.

Growing and Financing Stewardship Visions

Last year, Coast Funds’ board and staff team worked to support First Nations in documenting their long-term stewardship visions for their territories and developing fundraising strategies to generate sustainable revenue streams.

At the invitation of First Nations, Coast Funds also began working with partners towards the creation on new marine protected areas that link the coastlines of the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. With other members of the Coast Solutions Task Group, we’re beginning to explore financial mechanisms that can support First Nations’ stewardship of both land and sea.

Committed to Continuous Learning

As an Indigenous-led organization with deep experience in conservation finance, Coast Funds board and staff members have been called on to share their knowledge with Indigenous peoples and their partners in other parts of the world.

In 2021, Coast Funds team members contributed to five reports and three webinars on conservation finance, watershed funding, and asset management. Chair Dallas Smith and former CEO Brodie Guy were also invited to participate in a knowledge exchange with Haida-Tlingit leaders from Alaska, who are working to support economic development and ecosystem conservation in southeast Alaska.

Download the 2021 Annual Report to learn more about First Nations’ investments through Coast Funds.