November 28, 2022 (Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Territories/Vancouver, B.C.) – Today, the First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC), First Nations Climate Initiative (FNCI) and the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) announce a growing Coalition that supports action to urgently address climate change and achieve a just and prosperous economy for British Columbia.
The Coalition is a committed and growing group of Indigenous and business leaders, Nations, companies, organizations, and communities that possess the expertise and capacity to invest and build necessary infrastructure and export B.C.’s bounty of low carbon natural resources, food, and energy products. These are products the world needs and wants to buy from our province.
“On the heels of COP 27, which I attended in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, the Coalition is calling for increased urgency in making substantive progress on the transition to a lower carbon economy,” said Chief Sharleen Gale, Chair of the First Nations Major Projects Coalition. “The road to net zero runs through Indigenous lands. Net zero targets will only be achieved through partnerships with Indigenous communities and achieving this will take a commitment to providing sources of affordable capital and access to the capacity we need to make free, prior, and informed business decisions.”
“We know that fully mitigating the worst effects of climate change requires us to act locally and globally. COP 27 confirmed we need more urgency and purposeful action and collaboration with international jurisdictions supported by practical and nationally aligned policies and partnerships,” stated Susannah Pierce, Chair of the Business Council of British Columbia and Country Chair, Shell Canada and GM, Renewables and Energy Solutions Canada.
“This broad coalition formed today has the means and commitment to collaborate to get results through action, not talk, that, when aligned with governments, can immediately and substantively reduce global emissions, while sustaining a prosperous society at home. In doing so, this puts BC on the map as a dependable low carbon supplier and technology provider of choice, while creating meaningful reconciliation with Indigenous partners and the conditions to invest in the necessary infrastructure and technology that accelerates BC emissions reductions across the economy and society as we move together to a net zero future,” added Pierce.
“First Nations-led solutions are needed to reach Canada’s—and the world’s—climate action goals, and to achieve economic and environmental reconciliation for our communities. We must begin to implement these solutions, to replace poverty with prosperity and to recover the climate,” stated Crystal Smith, elected Chief Councillor of the Haisla Nation and a founding leader of FNCI.
“Decolonization and decarbonization go hand-in-hand. We know that our communities and homelands are not isolated from the rest of the world, so we must act both locally and globally. We have many valuable things to bring to the global table and we have an obligation to do this. We cannot look back and wonder why we did not act more bravely.”
The committed Coalition of leaders will develop and release a priority action plan early in 2023. It will look to governments of all levels to collaborate with it on the policies and supports needed to act now. In doing so, it will seek to realize shared goals to: address climate change globally and within BC and Canada; advance meaningful reconciliation and partnership, including the means that enable equity ownership by Indigenous companies and communities; and enable economic prosperity to protect a sustainable environment and measurably improve affordability and our quality of life now and for future generations.
About the First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC)
The First Nations Major Projects Coalition (FNMPC) is a non-profit organization comprised of 90+ Indigenous communities that span across Canada. FNMPC members recognize that we are stronger together and was established to promote the shared interests of our members. Advancing major projects is the core of FNMPC’s service delivery. FNMPC’s technical team is active in supporting our member communities with tools, capacity supports, and advice related to corporate structures and benefit sharing models, as well as tools to promote environmental protection and impact assessment. For more information, visit www.fnmpc.ca.
About the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC)
Now in its 56th year as the premier business organization in British Columbia, the Business Council of B.C. is a non-partisan organization made up of over 200 leading companies, post-secondary institutions and industry associations from across B.C.'s diversified economy and in every region of B.C. The Council produces exceptional public policy research and advocacy and convenes sectors, governments and Indigenous Nations in support of creating a competitive, and productive economy for the benefit of all British Columbians. For more information, visit www.bcbc.com.
About First Nations Climate Initiative
The First Nations Climate Initiative (FNCI) is an Indigenous-led collaborative forum dedicated to fighting climate change; alleviating First Nations’ poverty; restoring ecosystems in First Nations’ traditional territories; and, enabling Indigenous people to be leading actors in the decarbonized economy. By bringing together First Nations, other governments, climate experts, industry and other key stakeholders, FNCI is accelerating the development of climate solutions and growing economic opportunities for First Nations. The FNCI was founded in 2019 by the Haisla Nation, Metlakatla First Nation and Nisga’a Nation, and Halfway River has recently become a signatory to the Initiative. The FNCI invites participation from all First Nations—and all others—who share its vision. For more information, visit https://www.fncionline.com/.
Business Council of British Columbia
First Nations Major Projects Coalition