In many Indigenous communities, business is booming (CBC Radio Sunday Edition – April 8, 2018)

Business is on the top of the agenda for many First Nations in Canada. 

In boardrooms in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver and in the offices of First Nations, Indigenous communities are quietly signing deals to develop resources.

Some of these projects are worth hundreds of millions, even billions, of dollars. They have the potential to generate good jobs, skills training, revenue and royalties for Indigenous communities.

And, increasingly, those communities are demanding an equity stake — actual control over projects on their ancestral lands. Chief Corrina Leween remembers when things were much different.

She is Chief of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation, Vice Chair of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition in British Columbia, and a driving force behind a First Nations-led hydroelectric project on the Nechako River.

In 1952, Alcan dammed their territory to create hydro to power their smelter in Kitimat, she tells The Sunday Edition’s Michael Enright. “Our people were evicted. We were told to leave our ancestors, to make way for industrial development. So, we’ve been refugees of our territory since that time.”

David Sharpe, CEO of Bridging Finance, says signing deals with First Nations for major projects is just good sense.

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