While the beginning of 2020 has seen us face new and unexpected challenges, it’s vital that we work closely to foster the sustainability of First Nations’ stewardship programs, business operations, and infrastructure projects. Together, Coast Funds and First Nations have been working in close partnership for many years, achieving many successes along the way. As First Nations people, we are strong and resilient—we will continue to protect our territories and strengthen the well-being of our people despite any challenge we face. This past year saw us strive forward in many ways that give me hope for what we can continue to accomplish going forward.
Huux̱ Percy Crosby
Chair, Coast Funds
Coast Funds’ 2019 Annual Report reflects on the work that First Nations are undertaking in collaboration with Coast Funds, through new investments that further healthy and thriving communities and ecosystems throughout the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.
Since inception, Coast Funds has approved $100.1 million towards First Nations’ initiatives that protect lands and waters while growing sustainable economies across the coast ($89.9 million at the end of 2019).
In 2019, the Coast Funds board approved $4.5 million in new investment towards 12 conservation and stewardship initiatives and $3.8 million in new investment in 13 economic development projects. We also achieved an exciting milestone in our history, with a total of more than $50 million in economic development funding approved towards 200 projects.
In 2019, First Nations completed 17 projects funded by Coast Funds. Those projects contributed to strengthening well-being in the following ways:
- First Nations have made a total of $321 million in new investments in the region with Coast Funds since inception—an increase of $35 million in 2019.
- A total of $9.5 million was invested in local family-supporting salaries that are contributing to rising incomes across the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii.
- Projects that positively contributed to language revitalization efforts increased by 22%. First Nations are actively revitalizing their languages by teaching languages to youth, mapping traditional place names, and compiling and digitizing audio recordings of fluent speakers.
- The total number of research and restoration initiatives increased by 18%, with a particular focus on kelp, eelgrass, abalone, salmon, and grizzly bear species.
Coast Funds board and staff are honoured to collaborate with First Nations across the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii as they lead the way in building a sustainable coastal economy and advancing Indigenous-led stewardship of their lands and waters. We look forward to our ongoing partnership with First Nations as we continue charting a sustainable and prosperous future together. From the entire board of directors and our staff team, we wish everyone across the coast has safety, good physical and mental well-being, and togetherness in the uncertain months ahead.
Download the 2019 Annual Report to read about 2019 highlights and milestones. Explore all well-being outcomes since Coast Funds’ inception HERE. You can also receive inspiring stories featured in the annual report by SUBSCRIBING to receive the Talking Stick email.