In 2018 and 2019, Coast Funds engaged with First Nations community and business leaders throughout the Great Bear Rainforest and Haida Gwaii, Members, and funders regarding key decisions ahead for 2020-2022. From these discussions, the board received unanimous encouragement to explore new opportunities to recapitalize Coast Funds: both to seek the replenishment of the waning economic development fund and to make efforts that will strengthen the conservation endowment to support continuity of intergenerational stewardship initiatives throughout the GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST AND HAIDA GWAII.
In late 2019, we paused to reflect on changes, growth, challenges, what we’ve learned, and the future of Coast Funds in its evolving role as a globally recognized Indigenous-led conservation finance organization. This process of reflection and renewal is reflected in Coast Funds’ 2020-2022 Strategic Plan. In this new plan, the board of directors has established a foundational goal as well as three key goals and objectives which will be updated annually in accordance with COAST FUNDS’ GOVERNING DOCUMENTS.
Our Foundational Goal: Intergenerational Sustainability of Coast Funds
Goal: As requested by First Nations, sustain and evolve Coast Funds to a new operating model that allows the organization to continue to offer valued services to First Nations beyond the dissolution date of the Society (the economic fund).
- In partnership with First Nations, develop a plan for recapitalization of the Society (the economic fund) or its dissolution. Also see Healthy and Resilient Coastal Economies objective 3.
- In partnership with First Nations and funders, grow the Foundation’s endowment to increase First Nations’ access to self-determined stewardship finance while also sustaining valued services provided to First Nations by Coast Funds. Also see Healthy and Resilient Lands and Waters objective 3.
Key Goals and Objectives:
HEALTHY AND RESILIENT COASTAL ECONOMIES
Goal: To support First Nations’ efforts to build healthy and resilient economies.
- Strengthen First Nations to grow and diversify resilient local and regional coastal economies by making strategic acquisitions, creating and expanding community-owned enterprises, supporting entrepreneurs, and enhancing economic infrastructure.
- Support the transition from fossil fuel-dependent electrical grids to renewable energy sources by collaborating with coastal First Nations and the Province of B.C. through the Renewable Energy for Remote Communities program.
- Partner with First Nations and funders to find new opportunities to fund economic development.
HEALTHY AND RESILIENT LANDS AND WATERS
Goal: To support the revitalization of First Nations’ stewardship of ecology, culture, and protected areas.
- Strengthen First Nations’ development of Indigenous-led stewardship, Guardian Watchmen efforts, and regional stewardship initiatives.
- In collaboration with First Nations and funders, develop a long-term plan for the intergenerational sustainability of the endowment fund.
- Explore new opportunities in support of First Nations’ efforts to secure diversified, self-determined, and sustainable sources of revenue to build resilient Indigenous-led stewardship which may include increasing endowed funds in the Foundation.
CONTINUOUS LEARNING AND KNOWLEDGE SHARING
Goal: To partner with First Nations to proactively facilitate the sharing of knowledge, lessons learned, strategies, and outcomes.
- Collaborate with First Nations to document how stewardship and economic development projects were planned and implemented, how resilient First Nations are becoming increasingly self-determining, and advice for other Indigenous Peoples based on lessons learned.
- Demonstrate how Coast Funds’ project investments are strengthening well-being on local and regional scales by analysing and publishing environmental, social, economic, and cultural outcomes.
- Proactively share project stories and well-being outcomes to facilitate peer mentoring and knowledge sharing, and to empower First Nations.