Coalition giving First Nations the tools to take stakes in major projects

The First Nations Major Projects Coalition will host its third annual Industry Engagement Event in Prince George in March.

The two-day event runs March 2 and 3, and will give member First Nations support to build relationships that lead to business opportunities and economic growth, the coalition said.

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"Delegates at the third annual Industry Engagement Event will also learn more about the tools the coalition has created to help support our First Nations members when they are considering participation in a major project in their territories," executive director Niilo Edwards said.

"We have new tools to help members assess the effects of projects on the social and economic cornerstones of communities, assessment of projects on indigenous culture, how to ensure meaningful integration of indigenous knowledge into major project assessments, assessments on impacts to indigenous health, and assessment of projects on indigenous land use."

More than 60 First Nations across Western Canada are involved in the Coalition, according to its website, which includes representation from five chiefs of the Wet’suwet’en Matrilineal Coalition. The Coalition is chaired by Chief Sharleen Gale of the Fort Nelson First Nation.

The Prince George event includes a keynote address by National Bank Financial managing director Steven Fleckenstein. He will speak to "the changing financial landscape of Indigenous participation in major projects," and how First Nations can access capital to purchase a stake in projects.

The opening conference panel will address Indigenous ownership of electricity infrastructure. The event will be followed by the Coalition's annual general meeting on March 4.

For more information, go to

— Prince George Citizen

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