First Power in Numbers Gathering explores opportunities for partnerships between industry and First Nations

The Stz’uminus First Nation and the Coast Salish Development Corporation hosted an inaugural Power in Numbers Gathering on Friday.

Revenue sharing and industry partnerships have become a growing trend among First Nations communities as one means of breaking the cycle of poverty, government dependence and subsistence.

“The Coast Salish Development Corporation, on behalf of the Stz’uminus First Nation, believes in success through expanded partnerships. Expanding the involvement of First Nations as partners and linking First Nations with economic opportunities allows us to participate in ventures that would be too big an undertaking for just one of our Nations,” stated Chief John Elliott, Stz’uminus First Nation.

The Stz’uminus First Nation and the Coast Salish Development Corporation hosted an inaugural Power in Numbers Gathering on Friday to explore and encourage opportunities for partnership and revenue sharing with industry and First Nations.

Featured speakers at the afternoon’s event were Chief Kim Baird of the Tsawwassen First Nation and Chief Clarence Louie of Osoyoos Indian Band. Both leaders discussed the projects that they have undertaken through partnership with various industry sectors and businesses.

“We invited Chief Baird and Chief Louie because of their success and leadership in creating lasting partnerships that have benefited the economy in their regions,” stated Ray Gauthier, chief executive officer of Coast Salish Development Corporation. “We have created this event to encourage these conversations and make introductions that could lead to lasting partnerships.”

“This gathering was an opportunity for industry and First Nations to meet on neutral grounds,” said Elliott. “There are many opportunities to begin working together and it’s time to begin planning for these partnerships.”

Friday’s event was billed as a Power in Numbers Gathering, the first in what is to be an annual event hosted by First Nations, designed to bring First Nations and industry together to informally discuss partnership ventures.