Information Bulletin

VOLUME 4, ISSUE 10
DECEMBER 2010

ALL-CHIEFS’ TASK FORCE

At the All-Chiefs’ Assembly held on November 30 and December 1, 2010, the All-Chiefs’ Task Force Working Groups presented their recommendations as follows:

The Coordinated Action Working Group recommends:
1. That the First Nations Leadership Council engages in a high-level analysis of the current political context to identify and strategize a response to the most pressing issues facing First Nations in BC regarding Aboriginal Title and Rights and Treaty Rights, and Social Justice Issues, including Canada’s “qualified” endorsement of the UN DRIP; and,
2. That the First Nations Leadership Council develops a comprehensive communications and action plan to implement the strategies identified in the high-level analysis of the current political context, making use of the tactics identified by the All-Chiefs’ Task Force Coordinated Action Working Group.

The Operational-Technical Working Group recommends:
1. Each year the FNLC made up of the three organizations, puts forward an implementation strategy to the Chiefs of B.C. that sets out goals and workplan on collective issues as identified by leadership along with the use of resources to meet goals.
2. The FNLC finalize a formal process for All-Chiefs’ Forum that includes the contributions, financial and otherwise, that support the Chiefs coming together once a year to dialogue and strategize.

The Political-Legal Working Group recommends:
1. Develop a unified framework/ plan for action on key priorities for the political organizations (BCAFN, FNS, UBCIC)
o Political and advocacy efforts
o Research requirements
o Collaboration and linkages with other organizations
o Potential resourcing required for implementation
2. Develop a framework/plan for a First Nations Thinktank/ Centre for Policy/ Legal Defence
o First step undertake preliminary research into existing policy and legal institutes worldwide
3. Develop an implementation plan for existing key court decisions Host a second 2 day legal workshop at Westbank.

These recommendations have been set out in resolutions which were approved in principle and will be formally adopted by each organization at duly convened meetings.


ABORIGINAL TOURISM ASSOCIATION OF BC

The Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia (AtBC) continues to develop the Aboriginal Cultural tourism sector. This year marks an important step as the implementation of the Aboriginal cultural tourism Blueprint Strategy is set to be completed by March 31st 2011. AtBC is consolidating a Performance Indicator report that will measure the results against the Blueprint Strategy investments. AtBC expects to make the report public by April 2011.

AtBC continues efforts to support training and awareness, product development, and marketing of the Aboriginal cultural tourism sectors. The following are items that have been recently completed:

· AtBC once again participated in the Rogers Santa Claus Parade in Vancouver in our efforts to promote the sector.

· AtBC invited applicants to apply for two exciting programs:

Tourism Business Planning Participant Training -
Starting at 5:30PM Monday January 17th, 2011

Transforming Communities Through Tourism -
This is a forum titled "Transforming Aboriginal Communities Through Tourism". The forum will be held January 31 & February 1, 2011 from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel in Vancouver, BC.

· Plus many other exciting programming and marketing efforts.
AtBC has recently released our 2010-2011 Second Quarter Progress Reporting. AtBC has also now released a comprehensive Klahowya Village in Stanley Park final report from our first year of activities. AtBC met with one of the host Nations in December (Tsleil-Waututh) and plans to meet with Squamish and Musqueam early in January.

AtBC will be announcing our April 1st, 2011 – March 31st, 2012 Action Plan early in 2011 that will outlines a number of activities we believe must be completed in the areas of training and awareness, product development, and marketing as we continue to build the Aboriginal cultural tourism industry.

For more information please view our website at aboriginalbc.com or contact our office located in West Vancouver 1-604-921-1070.
Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year on behalf of the AtBC Board of Directors and staff.


FIRST NATIONS HEALTH COUNCIL

On December 3rd, 2010 members of the First Nations Health Council met with Federal Health Minister Leona Agluukaq, and Provincial Government ADM’s Andy Hazlewood and Heather Davidson. The purpose of the meeting was to hold an informal discussion on Health Plan implementation.

At the meeting Minister Agluukaq reconfirmed her government’s commitment to the tripartite process, as both funder and governance partner to BC First Nations. Ms. Agluukaq encouraged leadership to seize this opportunity and work quickly towards achieving a legal agreement. The minister is hopeful that an agreement can be reached early in the New Year while the federal political climate is still favourable.

Provincial representative Assistant Deputy Minister Andrew Hazlewood spoke of the ongoing and increasing pressure on the health care system and the need for transformation through focused efforts in health promotion and injury and disease prevention. Mr. Hazlewood also brought forward two key messages from his minister:

1) The Province recognizes that the commitments to First Nations Health in the Health Plans meant that the Province has evolve the way that they do business, and

2) The Minister has made it clear that he upholds the $100 million provincial commitment for the health plans, which the province would like to see spent on tangible services that make real improvement in First Nations health outcomes.

First Nations Health Council Chair, Grand Chief Doug Kelly and several other members of the FNHC addressed the Minister and ADM’s.

Their key message was that health programs should be delivered at the community level as much as possible, while at the same time supporting regional and provincial collaborations to address population health-level issues. The overall long-term goal is to move from a sickness system, to a more holistic wellness system.

The FNHC also spoke to First Nations interests in terms of identifying early wins, securing funding commitments for First Nations health programs and services, and an ongoing health partnership with federal and provincial governments.
The First Nations Health Council is developing an exciting tool to be used in regional caucus sessions and other forums in the 2011. Building on the work of the regional caucus sessions, Your Voice: A Health Partnership Workbook will provide First Nations leaders and Health Directors the opportunity to have direct input into the shaping of a new administrative arrangement for First Nations Health. Watch for this document at upcoming Regional Caucus sessions.

To request a copy of the workbook and our survey monkey link please contact Philip Hogan at phogan@fnhc.ca.  


FIRST NATIONS FISHERIES COUNCIL

Supporting Stewardship of Fisheries Resources for Current and Future Generations

2010 Fisheries Assembly

The 2010 Fisheries Assembly recently took place in Prince Rupert November 2 - 4. Over 200 people attended the Assembly, which was focused on the theme of Co-Management. A meeting summary and presentations are available on the FNFC website at www.FNFisheriesCouncil.ca.

Proceeding of the Assembly included development of a Statement of Solidarity on Joint Management, deliberations with DFO on aspects of joint management, and engagement of participants in the development of work plans for the four joint DFO - FNFC Working Groups on: Aquaculture, Co-Management, FSC Sec, 35.1 Fisheries, and Economic Access.

Public Perception and Communications Plan

The FNFC has contracted a public perception audit to measure public opinion regarding First Nations role in fisheries management and to gauge public knowledge of First Nations rights.

The results indicate that people in BC overwhelmingly recognize that First Nations have rights related to fisheries. The survey revealed confusion about how fisheries are managed and the role of First Nations in management. The Council will be focusing future communications on success stories related to First Nations’ protection and management of fisheries resources.

Incoming Aquaculture Regulations and Licensing Conditions

As a result of a BC Supreme Court ruling in February 2009, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) will be implementing a new aquaculture-licensing regime December 18th, 2010.

In preparation for issuing new federal licenses under the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations, the DFO has created draft license templates. The DFO solicited feedback on the 200-page document in a two-week comment window (October 26th – November 12th).

As many coastal communities expressed concern that the period for input has been inadequate, the FNFC invited DFO personnel to participate in a conference call on November 17th, 2010. The call provided an overview of the licensing conditions and facilitated a question and answer period (a summary is available here http://bit.ly/cdMfmr). The FNFC also responded with some general comments about the proposed license conditions, based on feedback received from First Nations at previous meetings. This information is also on the FNFC website.

New Executive Director
The FNFC has appointed Jordan Point as the new Executive Director. Jordan is from the Musqueam First Nation and joins FNFC with an extensive 20-year background in fisheries.

Council Executive
The FNFC welcomes Jeff Thomas as the new council member representing Vancouver Island South, replacing outgoing council member Chief Allan Claxton. Chief Hank Adams has also recently been appointed by the Southern and Northern Shuswap to replace Chief Marilyn Camille in one of the mid-Fraser seats.

Joint Working Groups
The FNFC and DFO have established four working groups under the Commitment to Action, which include Aquaculture, Section 35.1 (Food, Social and Ceremonial), Economic Access and Co-Management. The working groups have developed draft work plans, which were presented as part of the Fisheries Assembly (available here http://bit.ly/daA2fy).

Cohen Commission
The Cohen Commission is currently holding evidentiary hearings Monday through Thursday. Hearings are open to the public and will be held at the Federal Court at 701 West Georgia Street, 8th floor.

Schedule and background information available here: www.cohencommission.ca/en/

Fisheries Information
See www.fnfisheriescouncil.ca for the latest information about upcoming meetings, job opportunities, and other fisheries related news.

Contact Us
You can contact the FNFC communications coordinator at matthew@fnfisheriescouncil.ca.  


Fraser River Aboriginal Fisheries Secretariat Meetings:

• January 18, 2010: FRAFS Executive Committee Meeting (date subject to change)
• January 25-26, 2011: Forum on Conservation & Harvest Planning for Fraser Salmon (Richmond)
• February 8-9, 2011: Roadmap: Co-Management Development (location to be determined)
• February 15, 2011: FRAFS Executive Committee Meeting (date subject to change)
• February 22-23, 2011: Forum on Conservation & Harvest Planning for Fraser Salmon (Richmond)
• March 29-30, 2011: Forum on Conservation & Harvest Planning for Fraser Salmon (Vancouver Island)
• May 10-11, 2011: Forum on Conservation & Harvest Planning for Fraser Salmon (Kamloops)

Other Meetings:
• December 16, 2010: Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance BOD Meeting (Prince George)
• December 17, 2010: Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance General Meeting (Prince George)
• January 10-14, 2011: Pacific Salmon Commission
• January 14, 2011: Tentative IMAWG Post Season Meeting (Vancouver Island)
• January 17, 2011: Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance Forum (Chilliwack)
• January 20, 2011: Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance BOD Meeting (Prince George)
• January 21, 2011: Upper Fraser Fisheries Conservation Alliance General Meeting (Prince George)
• January 27-28, 2011: Coastal Visions – Island and Marine Habitat Workshop (Tsawout First Nation)
• March or April, 2011: Tentative IMAWG Pre-Season Workshop – Island and Marine Areas


FIRST NATIONS TECHNOLOGY COUNCIL

First Nations BC Portal News

If you’re planning a Conference, we hope you’ll consider using the First Nations BC Portal to announce and register your participants. Check out the Portal at www.fnbc.incfo. Once your event is in the calendar, participants can click and register on the spot. The Portal can handle free and ‘fee’ registration. Lots of options are available and, for a modest fee, FNTC will be pleased to work with your organization. Contact Heather Bohn, the Portal Manager at heather.bohn@fntc.info.  

Be sure to check out the Spotlight on Communities feature on the Portal – this feature will continue to grow and we’re looking to add your Nation so again, contact Heather Bohn.

If you’ve attended one of INAC’s popular Comprehensive Community Planning sessions, you know that First Nations learning from First Nations means a lot of exciting information is being exchanged. Check out the CCP page on the Portal.

We’ve added another Blogger to this very popular feature. Meko Nicolas, from the First Nations Lands Management Resource Centre, has joined Judith Sayers. Check out Meko’s blog on the First Nations Property Ownership Act. We’re hoping that both Judith and Meko will generate some discussions on their important blog topics. Don’t be shy – sign up and start blogging. We’re looking for bloggers on other topics as well. Contact Heather if you’re interested.

Information and Communications Technology ICT – Capacity Building

FNTC has begun work to develop Regional Capacity Plans that will access the $5m that is on deposit with All Nations Trust to be targeted towards ICT Capacity Building. FNTC is planning to work with ASETS (Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy) Holders to complement their work. We realize that $5m isn’t nearly enough to meet the needs of all communities and have applied to HRSDC’s Skills and Partnership Fund for supplemental funding. FNTC is targeting three plans to be completed by the end of March.


FIRST NATIONS CHILD & FAMILY WELLNESS COUNCIL

Strategic Direction of Wellness Council

The Interim First Nations Child and Family Wellness Council (“Wellness Council”) members were appointed at the Indigenous Child at the Centre Forum III and were assigned the task of making way for permanent Wellness Council. The Indigenous Child at the Centre Forum III set the strategic direction for the Wellness Council by identifying provincial and regional priorities and short-term deliverables leading to the finalization and implementation of the Action Plan. A long-term deliverable in this regard will be to assist First Nations within each region to establish a fair, inclusive, clear and accountable process for appointing representatives to the Wellness Council.

It has been determined that the priorities for the remainder of this year will focus on relationship building. To implement this, the Wellness Council:
1. Hosted a one-day Strategic Relationship Building meeting between the Wellness Council, the Delegated Agencies, Caring for First Nations Child Society, the Chiefs of the Nations represented by the Delegated Agencies and the Chiefs of the 15 Nation – based projects on November 22, 2010. The successful outcomes of this meeting were:
a) That the parties will support the Enhanced Prevention funding flowing to BC for the fiscal year 2011-2012;
b) That the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), First Nations Summit (FNS) & BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN), along with the Wellness Council, were requested to provide letters of support for enhanced prevention funding and to actively & collectively advocate for these resources;
c) That each Chief holds the right to speak for their respective community and for their children and families
d) To accept the funding allocation of $53 million over a 3-year period as approved by Treasury Board; however, all future funding be based on providing equitable services for all children and families in BC; and
e) To direct Indian & Northern Affairs (INAC) to delay the implementation of the move to actual costs until there is consultation and collaboration with the First Nations Delegated Authorities and the First Nations Child and Family Wellness Council.
2. Will host pre-engagement sessions in each Region to:
a) Identify organizations that are playing a leading role in delivering programs and services to First Nations children, youth and families; and
b) Identify and engage First Nations that are not involved with BC Assembly of First Nations, First Nations Summit or Unions of BC Indian Chiefs and/or the Delegated Agencies.
c) Work in collaboration with delegated agencies; 15 Nation - based projects that MCFD is supporting and other Social Councils to implement the Indigenous Child at the Centre Action Plan
3. Will host regional community engagements where possible in collaboration with delegated agencies, the 15 Nation-based projects and other First Nations Councils for the purpose of communicating with the grassroots to receive information on:
a) Representation;
b) Governance;
c) Nation – building; and
d) Indigenizing programs and services.
The Wellness Council continues to work to understand what is being done in the area of First Nations child and family wellness; this involves understanding the work that is being done, who is doing the work and identifying areas where there are gaps in services or programs. The overall goal of this initiative is to identify areas where the parties involved can work together in the best interest of First Nations children and families.


INDUSTRY COUNCIL FOR ABORIGINAL BUSINESS

Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) and Matcon Civil Contracting: Best Practices in First Nations/ Industry Joint Ventures

Featured at December 3rd Breakfast Meeting

Forty people joined Tsawwassen First Nation Chief Kim Baird and Matcon Principal Ron Amos at the SFU Segal School of Business on December 3rd as they shared their joint venture development experience.

Based on a principles of ‘do the right thing’, make a profit and be charitable, Ron Amos, founding partner for the Matcon Group of Companies, entered into a joint venture with the Tsawwassen First Nation – the TFN Construction / Matcon Civil Joint Venture (TMJV) in the Fall of 2008. The JV, which is majority owned by the Nation, was founded on a handshake that was then backfilled by negotiations based on a willingness of both parties to make the venture work. The challenging issue of liability was addressed with Ron’s belief that the risk should fall upon the partner best able to handle it and that, in most cases, is not the First Nation – at least not initially.

It is this ‘can do’ attitude that has made the TMJV a resounding success. Since its inception it has secured over $16 million in contracts and has created over 6,800 hours of employment for TFN members.

The JV has been supported by the TFN treaty which was ratified on April 3, 2009. The first urban treaty in B.C. means the Nation can reconcile its Aboriginal rights and title and fulfil its self-government aspirations. Operating with municipal-like jurisdiction over a land base of 724 hectares (1,800 acres), TFN is a full member of the Metro Vancouver regional district. The treaty established fee simple for TFN lands that are registered with the BC Land Title Office; however, there are measures established by the Nation itself that set the criteria for fee simple transfer.

“It’s wonderful not having to go the Department of Indian Affairs for anything – TFN is claiming its rightful place and doing so with an emphasis on partnership development,” Chief Kim Baird noted.

With diverse land assets, a strategic location and locally trained labour force, TFN offers a variety of partnership opportunities. And the one with Matcon Civil Constructors is a prime example – a JV partnership that leveraged the company’s reputation and experience and developed capacity for members that was a win –win for both Matcon and TFN. When asked which of the four projects Matcon would have been awarded without the TFN partnership, Ron replied: “None – partnering with First Nations makes sense, it meets procurement requirements which makes a bid more attractive - making 49 cents on the dollar is better than making nothing at all”. Realizing JVs have a life-span, Ron looks forward to the day - five or ten years from now - when Chief Baird shakes his hand and bids Matcon farewell with a thank you for working with the Nation to develop a strong economy and the ‘know how’ to run things themselves.

TFN is looking for committed business partners with a track record of community investment willing to invest time in relationship building and hard work. With a bright future ahead, Tsawwassen First Nation is “Open for Business”.

For more information on partnership opportunities with TFN contact Chris Hartman, Chief Executive Officer, TFN Development Corporation chartman@tsawwassenfirstnation.com.


ICAB Upcoming Events:

Leadership in Acts of Reconciliation for Industry and Business – January 27, 2011

Justice Murray Sinclair, Chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, will provide the keynote address for the January 27 Dialogue Forum. In his address, Leadership in Acts of Reconciliation for Industry and Business, Justice Sinclair will set the tone for dialogue about how history, including that of the residential schools, sits at negotiation tables and board rooms (whether it is acknowledged or not), influencing interaction and business development. For more information on Justice Sinclair and the TRC check www.trc.ca.

Best Practices in Aboriginal Procurement for Industry and Business – January 13, 2011

Bringing business and industry leaders, as well as government representatives, together to establish standards of practice in best practices for Aboriginal Procurement.

Regional Workshops – Standards of Practice in Aboriginal Procurement – Starting April 2011.

Details will be posted on the ICAB website as they become available.

ICAB Leadership Exchange Documentary Launch – January 26, 2011.

A first in Canada, the Leadership Exchange provided ICAB and SFU’s Learning Strategies Group (LSG) with the opportunity to design and facilitate a unique program that provided three corporate executives and three First Nations leaders with the space to develop deeper relationships based on mutual respect and understanding. Join ICAB and the LSG as they share the story of a unique group of leaders.

For more information or to become an ICAB member or register for the events go to www.icab.ca or contact Brenda at ed@icab.ca  

PDF COPY: http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/files/PDF/LC_Information_Bulletin_No44_Dec_10.pdf

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