First Nation Community Economic Development Survey


The B.C.First Nation Community Economic Development Survey offers insight regarding how First Nations experience, coordinate and deliver economic development.

First Nations have a long history of pursuing trade and markets within the context of sustainable
economies; however, colonialism virtually eliminated those markets over the last 140 years. Today, First Nations’ economic resilience is evident in their pursuit of economic opportunity in a manner consistent with Indigenous worldviews.

Indigenous individuals, businesses and communities are reclaiming their place in the economy, both
individually and in partnership with industry and various levels of government, including other First
Nations. These findings may be useful for those making an impact in the economic lives of Indigenous
peoples as leaders, champions and partners. Many of the results show areas of broad consensus across the province. We have also taken care to highlight some differences across regions of B.C., so that everyone can see some of their story reflected in the numbers.

The survey is a collaboration of the B.C. Ministry of Jobs, Trade, and Technology (MJTT); the Indigenous Business and Investment Council (IBIC); the BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN); the New Relationship Trust (NRT); and the National Consortium for Indigenous Economic Development (NCIED) at the University of Victoria.

From April 30 to October 31, 2018, the contracted survey provider, the Naut’sa mawt Tribal Council, invited Chiefs and Councils, economic development corporations (EDCs), and economic development
managers (EDMs) to participate in the survey. The survey received 209 complete responses including 113 chiefs and councillors, 38 EDCs, and 58 EDMs from all eight of B.C.’s economic development regions. Geographical breakdowns are done by aggregating B.C.’s economic development regions: The North refers to the North Coast, Nechako, and Northeast; the Interior refers to the Cariboo, Kootenay, and Thompson Okanagan; and the Southwest refers to the Mainland/Southwest and Vancouver Island/Coast.

The ten findings highlighted in this Executive Summary are statistically significant and provide a broad understanding of the survey and its results. The survey’s complete findings are found in the main body of this report.

Read the B.C. First Nation Community Economic Development Survey