Building informed consent for a mega-project

Following a step-by-step and community-by-community process to develop a socio-economic plan

Building informed consent for a mega-projectBy the spring of 1984, it was time to seriously start developing the socio-economic plans for the Polar Gas pipeline’s construction, and it was clear that the Polar Gas team needed to grow on the ground. As a result of strong and fair Sahtu Dene community criticism of the first draft of the proposed pipeline…

First Nation supporters of Coastal GasLink need to step up

First Nation supporters of Coastal GasLink need to step upIn 2015, we gathered in the meeting house of the remote Tl’azt’en First Nation at Tache, 215 km northwest of Prince George, B.C. I was there as volunteer chair of the B.C, Industry Training Authority (ITA), the organization responsible for funding and facilitating trades training in the province. Accompanying me were the ITA CEO and…

Indigenous economic success requires a new path

It’s time First Nations adopted property rights, economic development and self-governance

Indigenous economic success requires a new pathThe saying, “The more things change, the more they stay the same” should not be applied to First Nations bands. Those bands that have maintained the same tired model that has failed for decades are still failing. Ones that have adopted property rights, economic development and self-governance have improved drastically. Unfortunately, most judges, activists and…

Using money to bring fairness to Indigenous groups

The Lax Kw’alaams and Metlakatla need to put the Ridley Terminal money to work on things that will lead to future returns for their people

Using money to bring fairness to Indigenous groupsIf there are any special Canadian values, fairness is surely one of them. We want and expect our laws and courts to be fair. Our economy, too, should give everyone an opportunity to do well. The resulting income streams should not excessively reward the rich nor should our taxes penalize the poor. The United States,…

Building lasting stability in the western Canadian economy

My advice for Western Economic Diversification Canada as it builds a 10-year strategy for growth

Building lasting stability in the western Canadian economyWestern Economic Diversification Canada is working on a 10-year strategy to make the four western provinces competitive, innovative and inclusive, attracting business and investment and generating good jobs. To build the strategy, they’re seeking answers to the five questions below. Here are my thoughts on those questions: What does a stronger western Canadian economy look…

How to get First Nations onside with resource-related projects

The support of B.C. Indigenous communities for LNG projects provides a working model for agreements

How to get First Nations onside with resource-related projectsThe division and acrimony among First Nation communities over the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project can mask the many examples of Indigenous communities that have reached agreements with resource companies. For example, how many Canadians know that the experience of First Nations on liquefied natural gas (LNG) development has been extremely positive? “While B.C. First…

Why business coaching is a humbling career

I get to work alongside superheroes in the various fields who use their amazing powers to get their clients real results

Why business coaching is a humbling careerAs a business coach, I’ve been gifted with the opportunity to meet some of the greatest people on the planet. These are not the rich and famous, the lofty or the well heeled, though I’ve met and worked alongside some of these. Through my career as a business coach, I come in contact with some…

New hope for Canada’s freshwater fishers

The end of Canada's federal marketing monopoly opens new doors around the world

New hope for Canada’s freshwater fishersMany people expected that the end of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corp. (FFMC) monopoly would lead to a disaster in Manitoba. It has not, fortunately. In fact, this move by the federal government may revitalize the Indigenous commercial fisheries in the northern part of the province. Manitoba commercial fishers sell about $60 million worth of…

How to unleash Indigenous entrepreneurial potential

Chief Reginald Bellerose of Muskowekwan encourages First Nations to find the correct balance between politics and business

How to unleash Indigenous entrepreneurial potentialTo Chief Reginald Bellerose of Muskowekwan First Nation in southern Saskatchewan, the wave of the future belongs to Indigenous entrepreneurship. “Our entrepreneurial spirit has been dormant. We must re-ignite that spirit,” said Bellerose, the 13-year chief of the small Anishinaabe community on Treaty 4 territory. For the 49-year-old, the key is changing laws to unleash…

Indigenous tourism is relatively untouched but the potential is vast

First Nations should take an inventory of their cultural, spiritual and ecological assets, then develop ways to present them to tourists

Indigenous tourism is relatively untouched but the potential is vastMany years ago, I learned an important lesson about tourism while travelling on Via Rail. As a first-class passenger, I enjoyed sitting in the dome car, where I could get a full view of the countryside. At one point, I zoned out and someone was trying to get my attention. Pointing outside, he gestured at…