TD Bank recently did a forecast of the Aboriginal Market in Canada. In the report, TD forecasts $32bil in combined aboriginal household, business and government income by 2016. (a 50% increase from 2011). You can read the report here: Estimating the Size of the Aboriginal Market in Canada
On Friday August 26, BC Hydro announced a landmark agreement with the Upper Nicola Band, Okanagan Nation and Nlaka’pamux Tribal Council. This announcement has been a long time coming. On Feb 4, the BC Utilities commission ruled in favour of First Nations due to lack of consultation. Background on that decision was posted HERE along with an interview by APTN with then UNB Chief Tim Manuel posted HERE. Current UNB Chief Dan Manuel quote on the announcement: “This is truly a historic day for our communities; one that will set the stage for recognition of our unique and enduring connection to our lands. For my community and Nation the excitement is very real.” A link to the announcement can be found HERE.
Taseko Mines announced on Friday, Aug 26th that the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) has formerly accepted a revised project description for the $1 billion Prosperity Gold and Copper Mine. Find the announcement HERE. The new project description outlines measures to protect Fish Lake which was proposed to be used for tailings in the previous proposal (which was rejected by CEAA (details HERE).
In response to the new project description, the Tsilhqot’in National Government has called to end the review of the Prosperity Mine proposal, calling it a waste of time and resources. Obviously a struggling proposal with this much history has a lot of subtext, including discrepancies around: consultation, politics and the environment at the core of the issue.
The media and general public can become amazingly complacent when stories and issues drag out over a long period of time. However, the release by the Tsilhqot’in (which can be read HERE) makes a clear statement as to their position on the project and in the future, washes their hands of any percieved waste in resource to continue the review.
Follow the link to a recent CBC presentation of Aboriginal Rights. Based on constant challenges and discontent surrounding land claims, taxation, and perceptions of two tiered justice, etc., it is clear that most of the general public do not have much understanding of how we found our way here. Informative Listening.
Rona Sterling Consulting is a First Nations owned and operated consultancy based out of the Nicola Valley. Rona has a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Victoria. She launched her business in 1996 and takes a wholistic approach to variety of First Nations and Aboriginal social services. Rona is hosting the following suite of workshops and training events in Merritt, BC from October, 2011 through March 2012:
Fundamentals of Leadership and Management : Oct 12-14, 2011 or Jan 11-12, 2012
Special Needs : Oct 4-5, 2011 or Mar 6-7, 2012
Working with Aboriginal Families : Nov 7-9, 2011 or Feb 8-10, 2012
Basic Counselling Skills : Dec 6-7, 2011 or Mar 13-14, 2012
Suicide Prevention : Feb 22-23, 2012
Click HERE for more information.
Huron-Wendat Chief Konrad Sioui described the July 22 decision as one of the most important in the last 150 years. AFN Chief Atleo also considers it a key decision to the economic security and sovereignty of First Nations living in Canada. In short, the Supreme Court decision upheld the tax exempt status of two First Nations individuals (Bastien and Dube) to earn interest income from off-reserve sources held in on-reserve accounts. The decision is the latest in the evolution of the Indian Act which in Victoria-based lawyer Robert Janes opinion “isn’t trying to stick Indians in the 1800s”. It is also a recent hit to the Indian Act which AFN Chief Atleo would like to see replaced.
Certainly the decision supports economic investment on-reserve which can only help to alleviate low employment and poor living conditions. More on the story HERE.
The full Bastien and Dube decision are here.
After nearly a decade of often-contentious negotiations, the Taku River Tlingit First Nation (TRTFN) and the province of BC have sigend a land use agreement covering over 3 million hectares in the province’s Atlin Taku region. This agreement is historic, in that the parties have agreed to protect nearly a quarter of the land in question from development, helping to protect associated Tlingit social and cultural values, along with sensitive species and ecosystems. The agreement also earmarks areas within the watershed for natural resource development – namely mining – with the understanding that TRTFN members will benefit from jobs created through resource extraction activities. A good news story about a First Nation taking the lead and working with the province to proactively manage lands and resources on their territory! Click here to read more about it.