Talking Stick – Spring 2018

Updates from Coast Funds

Talking Stick – Spring 2018

Published throughout the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii, this newsletter explores conservation science, stewardship, sustainable development, and community well-being initiatives led by First Nations. Download the print issue: Talking Stick – Spring 2018.

This issue, we’re excited to bring you two stories of sustainable, culturally-inspired tourism initiatives. On BC’s central coast, Spirit Bear Lodge, owned and operated by Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation, is a model of success in ecotourism. And on the north coast, Nisg̲a’a Nation has embarked on an impressive cultural tourism and marketing initiative that showcases their unique culture, attracting visitors from across the globe.

You can find full versions of these stories and many others here along with in-depth interviews, community well-being outcomes, and ways to connect directly with the individuals who developed and led these initiatives.

This season marks ten years since Coast Funds opened its doors. Since inception, Coast Funds has approved $78.5 million to support 337 vital projects led by First Nations whose territories span the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Through those projects, First Nations are strengthening community economic prosperity, environmental conservation, social empowerment, and cultural vitality across the coast.

At the end of this newsletter, you can find one example of the positive impact First Nations are delivering with Coast Funds investments in their communities. You can fully explore all the community well-being outcomes on our website.

Finally, we’re pleased to invite you to join us on our newly launched Facebook page. Stay up-to-date with the latest stories from the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii by liking our page at

We are honoured to present the stories First Nations are sharing in Talking Stick. If you’d like us to publish your story, please reach out to us at

Darcy Dobell
Communications Committee Chair

Brodie Guy
Executive Director

Stories from the Great Bear Rainforest

The Success of Spirit Bear Lodge: How a Remote, Community-led Business Became a Global Model for Ecotourism

Spirit Bear Lodge, owned and operated by Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation, has become a successful model for conservation-based ecotourism. The Lodge has helped strengthen economic, conservation, and cultural well-being in the community of Klemtu. Read Kitasoo/Xai’xais’ Story.

The Spirit Bear is a genetically unique subspecies of the black bear found only on BC’s north and central coast. The bear is the namesake for the Kitasoo/Xai’xais owned and operated Spirit Bear Lodge. Photo by Kyle Breckenridge.

Written on the Land: Cultural Tourism in Nisg̲a’a Territory

A cultural tourism and marketing initiative developed by the Nisg̲a’a Lisims Government boosts tourism in the Nass Valley, raises the profile of its entrepreneurs, and reinforces the sovereignty and culture of the Nisg̲a’a Nation. Read Nisga’a Nation’s Story.

Nisga'a chiefs, elders, matriarchs, youth, and guests celebrate the raising of a Pts'aan (totem pole) in Gitwinksihlkw.
Nisga’a chiefs, elders, matriarchs, youth, and guests celebrate the raising of a Pts’aan (totem pole) in Gitwinksihlkw.

Community Well-Being: Growing Resilient Economies

First Nations are creating sustainable businesses and strategically acquiring and expanding companies in the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii. Since Coast Funds’ inception in 2007, First Nations have created and expanded 100 businesses. These businesses help diversify local economies and provide family-supporting incomes
for community members who might otherwise have to relocate to find employment.

The positive environmental, economic, social, and cultural vitality outcomes of First Nations’ investments are highlighted on our website and in our 2017 annual report that is released in late April every year.

Learn more about First Nations’ businesses and how projects are strengthening community well-being.

Download the Print Edition

Talking Stick – Spring 2018