Information Bulletin




At the All-Chiefs’ Assembly (ACA) on November 30 to December 1, 2010, the All-Chiefs’ Task Force (ACTF) concluded their work and presented a number of recommendations to the First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC). They also presented a draft FNLC Terms of Reference (TOR), Accountability Framework and Process Document. Through cultural ceremony, the Chiefs in attendance endorsed the FNLC to continue their advocacy work. The Chiefs also passed three resolutions-in-principle which endorsed the ACTF recommendations, endorsed the FNLC TOR and Accountability Framework, and endorsed the Process Document. The First Nations Summit (FNS) formally endorsed the three resolutions at their December 2-3, 2010 meeting, and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) did so at their March 9-10, 2011 meeting. The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) will consider the three resolutions at their upcoming June 24, 2011 Annual General Meeting.

As directed by resolution, the FNLC is currently working on implementation of the recommendations from the ACTF. This is a large piece of work requiring organizational capacity. The FNLC will be going through a strategic planning process in May, 2011, taking into consideration the current climate of fiscal constraint and limitations. Results will be shared with First Nations.

The FNLC continues to advocate with provincial government leadership as directed by First Nations, and is currently working to establish a clear relationship with Premier Christy Clark and the BC government.

First Nations Leadership Calls on Next Federal Government to Honour Education Agreement
The BC Assembly of First Nations, the First Nations Summit and the Union of BC Indian Chiefs are united in their call for the federal government to adequately fund First Nations education in BC, including support for language, culture and technology.

Six years of funding negotiations left the government and BC’s First Nations Education Steering Committee just over $4 million apart – with the main shortfall being funding for languages and culture – but an unexpected federal move has now left those First Nations seeking jurisdiction over their schools facing a choice between less money than they now receive, or losing control of their schools in return for an inadequate increase.

(To download to full release, please visit or  


The Joint Working Group on First Nations Heritage Conservation (JWGFNHC) was established in 2007. It is an initiative between the FNLC and the provincial government to identify solutions to critical issues regarding the protection and conservation of heritage sites, heritage objects and sacred sites (including a specific focus on implementing section 4 of the Heritage Conservation Act).

The FNLC and Nesika Cultural and Heritage Society co-hosted a two-day, facilitated First Nations Heritage Forum on February 22 & 23, 2011. A draft First Nations Heritage Conservation Action Plan for BC First Nations (“draft Action Plan”) was sent to communities for initial feedback in early February 2011. Throughout the forum we integrated participant feedback into the draft Action Plan; gathered information on cultural heritage issues and priorities; and facilitated constructive dialogue on current legislation, policies & practices within the Archaeology Branch, municipalities & local governments.

We circulated the revised draft Action Plan and appendices among First Nations in March, 2011. Subsequent to this additional round of feedback, the JWGFNHC will prepare a final First Nations Heritage Conservation Action Plan and bring it forward for review and endorsement at the three assemblies (BCAFN, FNS, and UBCIC).


Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey IV
The fourth annual Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey Forum will take place May 24-26, 2011 in Richmond BC. This year’s forum promises to be the biggest yet with attendance of 500 participants anticipated.

Since 2008, at more than 100 regional and sub-regional caucus meetings, BC First Nations have brought forward their vision for the future of First Nations Health. Most recently this feedback has been captured through First Nations responses to the Your Voice: Health Partnership Workbook. The Health Council is in the process of integrating feedback from the workbook and meeting summaries from regional and sub-regional caucus sessions to produce five regional summary papers. These regional summary papers are currently being brought forward in Caucus sessions, for review, discussion and amendments. Following amendments and approval, the regional summary papers will be compiled into a provincial consensus paper which will articulate province-wide principles and advice for health governance. This paper will bring together common elements from all five Regional Caucuses.

Provincial Consensus Paper and Gathering Wisdom
At Gathering Wisdom IV (May 24-26 2011, Richmond BC) the First Nations Health Council will seek support for the provincial consensus document. The decision-making process for the provincial consensus document will follow the process used for resolutions (at the First Nations Summit, Union of BC Indian Chiefs, and BC AFN) that Chiefs are familiar with.

If passed, the consensus document will provide the mandate and direction for the development and finalization of documents necessary to develop this new health governance structure, including the legally-binding Framework Agreement and a Health Partnership Accord. It is important that BC First Nations attend this important meeting. Information packages have been sent to every First Nation in BC regarding this meeting and describing the process. Forms will be included to deputize proxies to vote at Gathering Wisdom in the event that Chiefs can’t attend.

Important Note: For those elected Chiefs unable to attend the event, we encourage you to designate a proxy. The same process as is practiced at the Assembly of First Nations and other First Nations political organizations will apply at Gathering Wisdom:
• The proxy will act on the Chief’s behalf in terms of the discussion on the resolution to adopt the consensus paper.
• A Chief may carry his/her own vote, plus a proxy on behalf of another Chief; however, all others may only carry one proxy.
• To designate a proxy, please download the template proxy letter from the registration website ( and complete this template on your Nation’s letterhead.

To Register:
Online registration is available on our website ( For attendees that cannot access our online registration page, please note that you may register by sending in your form by mail or fax.

The First Nations Health Society will cover travel and accommodation expenses for two people per community – a Chief or Chief’s designate, and a senior health lead or designate per community.

Please note: It is important to use the available registration process to be reimbursed for your travel and accommodation expenses.

If you have questions regarding registration for Gathering Wisdom IV, please do not hesitate to contact us:
• Valerie Birdgeneau: / 604-913-2080 ext. 275; or,
• Shanna Tom: / 604-913-2080 ext. 225


The First Nations Fisheries Council (FNFC) has had a very busy few months. Over the past 90 days the FNFC has welcomed in a new Executive Director, Jordan Point, from the Musqueam First Nation. In addition the FNFC has recently concluded centralizing operations by establishing a new office location at Musqueam. Work has been focused on developing continued administrative and financial stability by updating the Council by-laws and registry filings, and liaising with the First Nations Leadership Council on developing strategic partnerships.

We have also been supporting the First Nations Coalition team on the Cohen Inquiry, producing and finalizing year-end reports, and hosting a number of community engagement sessions throughout the province for three of the four working groups addressing the themes that First Nations identified as priority areas for discussion: Aquaculture, Co-management, and Section 35(1)/FSC. The fourth working group (Economic Access) plans to host community engagement sessions in June 2011. The feedback gathered from First Nations participants at these sessions will help to shape the FNFC’s strategic direction over the next fiscal year and into the future. Notes and final reports from these sessions can be downloaded from the FNFC’s website at (website login required). Strategic planning will be a priority for the FNFC during the first quarter of 2012.

2011 National Aboriginal Fisheries Forum (NAFF)
The FNFC worked to develop a funding agreement with DFO to have BC delegates travel to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to attend the National Aboriginal Fisheries Forum (NAFF) at the end of March. The forum was hosted by the Atlantic Policy Congress. From BC, the Native Brotherhood, the Aboriginal Aquaculture Association, and the FNFC were all co-sponsors of the event. Over 20 delegates from BC were able to attend and participate at this important conference, which focused on best practices in Aboriginal fisheries and economic development. Native Brotherhood representative Chris Cook and FNFC Co-Chair John Henderson led a session on Aboriginal Fisheries in BC that was well attended and well received. Participants from all over Canada have expressed an interest in holding this Forum on the west coast next year in order to focus on Pacific Fisheries and First Nations economic development opportunities. Plans are currently under way for the FNFC to co-host this forum in Campbell River in 2012.

Meetings and Communications
The FNFC board and society directors meet on the last Tuesday of every month. The FNFC also hosts a bi-weekly update conference call that is open to all First Nations and Aboriginal fisheries program staff in BC. The calls are scheduled for every second Wednesday morning at 9:00 am (next calls are May 4, May 18). Meeting dates for fisheries meetings in BC are posted on our Master Calendar on our website. The council also develops a monthly communiqué that is distributed to First Nations fisheries organizations, and is available on our website.

New contact information:
First Nations Fisheries Council
4011 Si-Lu Drive
Vancouver, BC V6M 4G5
Tel: (604) 568-9262
Fax: 604-568-9345

For more information about the FNFC, please visit our website at Some resources and documents are internal to First Nations, and require a login to access. To get your confidential website login, to subscribe to our email list, or for general inquiries, please contact us at  


After five years of service to our communities, the Forestry Council has developed a solid infrastructure that continues to deliver advocacy in the priority areas identified in our Mountain Pine Beetle Action plan and the more recent Forest and Land Stewardship Action plan.

The Forestry Council continues to advocate for resources that will empower our communities to mitigate the impacts of the Mountain Pine Beetle in their territories. Restoration work is required and most important of all, community safety from interface forest fires is essential. As another forest fire season approaches this year we have already seen forest fire activity in parts of BC so please be safe and careful with regard to forest fires!

Programs related to training for employment continue, and some new developments are indicating that opportunities for employment in the forest sector and our communities are emerging in a significant manner. We continue to work on advancing and developing training programs that can increase our ability to access these employment opportunities. In partnership with the Community Futures Development Corporation of the Central interior First Nations and First Nations Emergency Services Society, some work has been done this past year through the Aboriginal Training for Employment program and thanks to the Ministry of Advanced Education.

Tremendous opportunity exists in BC for First Nations’ participation in the forest sector and it is clear that First Nations are wishing to work with the province in this regard as many new agreements have been signed between First Nations and the Province of BC. In fact, we know that BC First Nations now have access to over 11 million cubic meters of timber to harvest per year. If this volume could be harvested it would represents over $1.3 billion dollars of economic activity in BC! This is awesome, unfortunately our communities only capture 5-10% of the employment, which is the major driving portion of this economic activity and furthermore, our communities are only harvesting 4-5.8 million cubic meters of this available volume, largely due to the condition of the sector overall. Both of these issues are significant priority areas for our communities.

As we roll through the fiscal year end for 2010-11 the Forestry Council is struggling to develop a sustainable funding mechanism and is working to find partnership arrangements with the Province of BC and the Federal Government of Canada. We look forward to continuing our support for our communities and advancing the awesome opportunities we currently have for economic development in the forest sector.


Provincial Government Clean Energy Business Fund
This fund was recently announced by the BC government. The following hyperlink: will take you directly to the MARR site and the guidelines and applications. Revenue Sharing will be based on the following:
a) 50% of NEW incremental water and land rentals (as set out in the guideline), for any one project will be deposited into the FNCEBF for sharing with applicants;
b) A total of 75% of those deposited funds will in turn be directly shared with the applicants whose territory may be impacted by a clean energy project – for a total of 37.5% in sharable revenues (or 50% times 75%);
c) The remaining 12.5% (37.5% plus 12.5% equals the 50% deposited in the fund) will remain in the fund to further support capacity and equity grants to be made available by the fund; and
d) Projects in areas where First Nations territories may overlap will have provincial water and/or land rentals shared between all eligible applicants – the preference is for overlapping First Nations to come to their own agreement regarding how the above revenues will be shared amongst themselves.

First Nations-China Strategy
Grand Chief Edward John, Dan Smith and Stan Bevan unveil the gift of a tribute totem pole to the Qiang People in Chengdu, China (July 2010).

A draft strategy to engage with the unprecedented interest by the Chinese government and industry to invest in natural resource opportunities in BC is now completed. The draft strategy will be sent to each of the First Nations Leadership Council organizations with a resolution for consideration.

BC Hydro
Memorandum of understanding (MOU) In June 2010 FNEMC signed an MOU with BC Hydro to work together on joint priorities. Discussions and some limited activities have been initiated on a few main priority areas. The action areas that the FNEMC is working on include:
• Developing a resource document to inform BC Hydro and First Nation communities on the use of small scale bio-energy projects in small remote First Nations communities;
• Holding a workshop to share information with First Nations on BC Hydro's various programs and initiatives such as contracting, employment, transmission, and energy efficiency programs;
• Working with BC Hydro and Clean Energy BC on an informational session on BC Hydro’s energy acquisition process and IPP development.

Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) process: BC Hydro has completed its first round of First Nation "consultation workshops" to share information on its Integrated Resource Plan (IRP). The IRP is BC Hydro's long term province-wide plan to meet future electricity needs through new generation and transmission projects and energy conservation measures. FNEMC hired a resource planning technical expert to participate on BC Hydro's IRP technical committee and FNEMC representatives attended all nine of the First Nations regional workshops conducted by BC Hydro.

FNEMC is currently writing a report with observations and recommendations on both the technical and regional workshop streams of the IRP engagement. This report will be available to all First Nations and will also be submitted to BC Hydro. BC Hydro will draft the IRP and then hold a number of follow up First Nations regional workshops in the spring to obtain feedback on the plan.


Indigenous Child at the Centre Forum IV
The First Nations Child & Family Wellness Council’s Indigenous Child at the Centre Forum IV “Collaborating for Success – Sharing the Challenges, Sharing the Accomplishments (ICC IV) was postponed due to no funding from the Ministry of Children & Family Development. The First Nations Child & Family Wellness Council (FNCFWC) is currently organizing new dates for the event. Once the dates and times have been finalized, the FNCFWC will be sending out notices.

Community Engagement Sessions
The First Nations Child & Family Wellness Council recently held seven (7) community engagements across the province of BC to:
• Give an update on the implementation status of the Indigenous Child at the Centre Action Plan ;
• Receive input/direction on the components of a representative indigenous governance; framework for FNCFWC
• Explore ways the FNCFWC can collaborate effectively and efficiently;
• Chart a critical path for FNCFWC progress.

Feedback from these engagement sessions was compiled into a Regional Dialogue Governance Report. Currently, the report is scheduled to be tabled at the upcoming ICC IV. In the interim, several critical areas identified for enhancing governance and revising the organization’s Terms of Reference are:
1. Roles and responsibilities
2. FNCFWC representation
3. Principles and values
4. Accountability
5. Communication
6. Dispute Resolution
7. Collaboration

Social Organizations Meeting
The FNCFWC hosted, in conjunction with the First Nations Health Council, a meeting of BC Aboriginal social sector organizations on March 17-18, 2011 in Vancouver, BC. The two organizations began creating an action plan to outline how both organizations will work together to achieve the mutual goal of collectively addressing issues in the best interest of First Nations children. It was agreed action would be taken on:
1. Regional collaboration
2. Organizing a learning event
3. Developing guiding principles for a new paradigm
4. Engaging more people in this process.

Please refer to the FNCFWC’s March/April 2011 E-News for more information. For the most current information, please check the FNCFWC’s website (  


In order to ensure an up to date flow of information, a First Nations and Early Childhood Development (FNECDC) website has been completed. The website includes a full list of members, a description of funding opportunities, and a calendar of events. Those wishing to gain a greater insight into First Nations early childhood development (ECD) policy and current issues can also find downloadable publications and resources. Please visit  

Early Childhood Development Framework
The FNECDC has finalized The BC First Nations Early Childhood Development Framework. The document honours First Nations circles of traditions by incorporating community voices. It outlines clear strategies that can be implemented as actions to support the enhancement of First Nations ECD programs and services. The Framework will soon be widely circulated to First Nations throughout the province.

FNECDC membership now exceeds 60. The newest member of the Council is the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs whose Council expressed their formal support for the FNECDC on March 10, 2011, by passing a resolution to sign the FNECDC’s Memorandum of Understanding. The Council has begun to consider a variety of membership categories, from full participation to information sharing representatives.

The First Nation Urban Aboriginal ECD Steering Committee
In the fall of 2010 the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) brought the FNECDC together with the Aboriginal Early Years Advisory Circle (AEYAC) as a Joint Steering Committee to collaborate on the disbursement of funds for the Aboriginal Early Childhood Development Reinvestment Initiative.

The Steering Committee was successful in keeping operating costs low for fiscal year 2010-2011. Out of a total of $6,020,000 the committee was able to award $5,800,000 directly to communities and organizations across the province! Some funds were used to develop ECD planning templates. Remaining funds were awarded in the following categories:
Program Enhancements: A total of 428 projects totaling $3,473,722
Language and Culture: A total of 112 projects totaling $2,000,000
Service Planning: A total of 9 projects totaling $186,607

The First Nations Urban Aboriginal ECD Steering Committee has signed a Terms of Reference, completed a review of last year’s activities and begun planning for the disbursement of 2011-2012 funds. This year’s funds are expected to total $5 Million and will be used on similar streams of priorities. The FNECDC is pleased to be part of this valuable process and is hopeful that new resources will begin flowing to First Nations communities and organizations by June.

Please forward any questions or comments to Tyrone McNeil, chair of the FNECDC at OR to Jennifer Fox, FNECDC coordinator .


The First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) and the First Nations Schools Association (FNSA) have gradually learned more details about the federal government’s proposed “new approach” to supporting First Nations education in BC and the details are very concerning.

The proposed approach involves three funding options, which would continue to underfund First Nations schools, undermine First Nations jurisdiction achievements, and impose restrictive new conditions, including own-source revenue, which were previously rejected in our tripartite negotiations. Based on feedback from First Nations schools and communities, including a meeting with community members in February, 2011, FNESC and the FNSA have strongly opposed all three options.

In a joint press release on April 15, 2011, FNESC and the FNSA strongly criticized the federal government for reneging on 6 years of jurisdiction funding negotiations by imposing this unfeasible new approach. The First Nations Leadership Council issued a related news release on April 21st as described on p.1 of this Information Bulletin.

FNESC and the FNSA have written to the heads of the federal political parties, including an open letter to Stephen Harper, urging for more attention to First Nations education issues and a respectful resolution to the outstanding funding issues. A similar template letter was provided to communities for their local political candidates.

We will continue to communicate the urgency of the federal government fulfilling its commitment to education jurisdiction and the importance of providing First Nations schools with much-needed funding for language, culture, transportation and technology.

At this time, we are also undergoing budget uncertainty from INAC that includes an overall 15 percent holdback with no guarantee of full funding. Some FNESC/FNSA programs are significantly impacted and we are working to reduce the impact on schools and communities through ongoing discussions with INAC’s BC Region office. FNESC will be calling upon First Nation leadership support to ensure full funding.

FNESC and FNSA will host two National Panel sessions on K/12 First Nation Education. The National Panel will be in Vancouver and Terrace for three days each. There will be more information on this once the dates are finalized.

For more information, contact FNESC at 604-925-6087  


Kamloops Regional Session: Best Practices in Aboriginal Procurement for Industry and Business
ICAB will be hosting a “Best Practices in Aboriginal Procurement for Industry and Business” session in Kamloops June 6 and 7, 2011. The goals of the session are to create a learning environment to build industry and business capacity that will enhance Aboriginal procurement initiatives, provide networking opportunities and engage First Nations in a discussion about procurement challenges and successes. Updated information will be posted on the ICAB website at:

Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce
Greeted with a round of applause, ICAB announced plans to develop a BC Aboriginal Chamber of Commerce at the BC First Nations Economic Development Officers Forum March 1 - 2, 2011. A survey administered at the Conference indicated the top three priorities for ACC services as identified by conference participants were:
1. Business development seminars and presentations
2. Marketing and promotion
3. Facilitate procurement opportunities

The Chamber would provide specific support services to Aboriginal businesses whether band-owned, sole proprietorship or partnership throughout the province.
Information on the ACC development will be posted on the ICAB website as it becomes available.

First Nations Economic Development Working Group
As the First Nations Economic Development Working Group Secretariat, ICAB has been working with the First Nations Forestry Council and First Nations Energy and Mining Council to implement recommendations of the Working Group’s Action Plan. Funded by INAC, three initiatives related to energy and mining, forestry and support for economic development officers were completed between November 2010 and March 2011.

ICAB completed a guide to provide basic information and check lists for community-based economic development including an explanation of the different business structures that a First Nation can consider (corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, cooperative, non-profit society, enterprising non-profit and joint venture). The Economic Development Toolkit for First Nations Economic Development Officers, Chiefs and Councils and Community Members – Basic Information and Guide also examined the role of Chief and Council and community members in economic development. The Toolkit can be accessed on the ICAB website.

April 1st Breakfast Meeting
JLT and Tsleil-Waututh Nation: Healthy Communities through Insurance-Related Socio-Economic Development
Tom DeCoteau of JLT’s Aboriginal Risk Management

Tom DeCoteau of Jardine Lloyd Thompson’s (JLT) Aboriginal Risk Management Group and Brenda Baptiste, Senior Administrator for the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation shared their experiences in developing a win-win partnership related to community and economic development insurance needs. The event at the SFU Segal School of Business was well attended and participants posed lots of questions about the successful partnership.

Further information on all ICAB work: 

The Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC) is implementing their 2011-2012 Action Plan for the new fiscal year. The AtBC planning includes 17 action items in the areas of training and awareness, product development, and marketing for the season’s tourism season, which runs from May to September each year.

AtBC Board of Directors
The AtBC team also continues to prepare for the second year of the Klahowya Village in Stanley Park. The Klahowya Village in Stanley Park provides tourists and visitors from throughout BC a number of Aboriginal activities and supports marketing of the Aboriginal cultural tourism industry. AtBC continues to work with a number of the key Aboriginal tourism stakeholders and of course the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil Waututh Nations to ensure authenticity and community support for this important new attraction in Vancouver. The Klahowya Village in Stanley Park is set to reopen May 16th and will run until early September. AtBC encourages all Aboriginal people from throughout BC to attend the Klahowya Village to watch the daily dance performances, support Aboriginal artisans, or enjoy a number of other exciting cultural activities hosted by the tourism sector from throughout BC.

AtBC is also pleased to announce that a new AtBC Performance Indicator report will be made available in May 2011. Highlights of the report are:
1. Aboriginal tourism sector revenues are approximately $42 million as of December 2010, up from $20 million in 2006. AtBC forecasts continued growth in 2012 at no less than a 3% rate for Aboriginal tourism businesses.
2. We forecast approximately 3.8 million tourism visitors will seek an Aboriginal cultural tourism experience in 2011, up from approximately 1.8 million in 2006.
3. Aboriginal cultural tourism businesses have generated approximately 11.3 million in taxes back to Federal, Provincial, and Municipal governments. AtBC anticipates tax reinvestment to increase to 11.9 million by the end of 2011.
4. Aboriginal cultural tourism businesses have increased to 227 in British Columbia from 110 in 2006.
5. Many other important performance indicators are identified.

AtBC continues to promote the Aboriginal cultural tourism sector due to the market share being realized and the report will provide important information for Aboriginal communities, Economic Development Officers, and Leadership to better understand. The AtBC document will be made available on the ATBC website and set to the email distribution list.

For more information please visit sign up for our email distributions, or contact our office located in West Vancouver at (604) 921-1070.

Thank you for your interest and continued support of the Aboriginal cultural tourism sector from the AtBC Board of Directors and staff. 

FNTC is pleased to be signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Indigenous Adult and Higher Learning Association. This MOU will formalize an already strong relationship of marrying technology and technical capacity with the delivery of higher education. Much work remains but both organizations see the value of working together to get it done.

• Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey: May 24-26 (Sheraton Hotel, Richmond)
• UBCIC Chiefs Council: June 1-2, 2011 (Holiday Inn and Suites, Vancouver)
• First Nations Summit Meeting: June 8-10 (Chief Joe Mathias Centre, North Vancouver)
• BCAFN Special Chiefs Assembly: June 22-23 (Westin Wall Centre, Richmond)
• BCAFN Annual General Meeting: June 24 (Westin Wall Centre, Richmond)
• AFN International Indigenous Summit on Energy & Mining: June 27-29 (Niagara Falls, Ontario)
• BC Elders Gathering: July 12-15 (Abbotsford Tradex Centre, Abbotsford)

UBCIC is a NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.