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Indigenous Peoples in British Columbia

There are over 200,000 Indigenous Peoples, including First Nations, Metis, and Inuit in British Columbia. For over 10,000 years, First Nations have lived on the land now known as B.C. comprising 203 different communities, including more than 30 different First Nation languages and nearly 60 different dialects.

The government of British Columbia is committed to building true, lasting, and meaningful partnerships with the First Nations and Indigenous peoples in B.C. Many leading companies investing in B.C. have already introduced successful business models based on collaborative relationships with Indigenous governments and, as a result, are realizing improved investment and business certainty. The Declaration Act supports further collaborative opportunities and enables successful partnerships with Indigenous governments.

Leigh Joseph, founder of Sḵwálwen Botanicals, an Indigenous business located in Squamish, is an alumni of BC Achievement’s Indigenous Business Award

The Declaration on the Right of Indigenous Peoples Act

In November of 2019, the Province introduced the Declaration on the Rights Of Indigenous Peoples Act (Declaration Act), making B.C. the first province in Canada, and one of the first jurisdictions in the world, to pass a such a law. The Declaration Act mandates B.C., in consultation and cooperation with Indigenous peoples, to take all measures necessary to bring provincial laws into alignment with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

The Declaration Act creates a pathway for reconciliation and provides a clear, transparent process for how the Province and Indigenous governments work together to the benefit of all stakeholders. Engaging collaboratively with Indigenous peoples in B.C. as respected partners supports good conditions for de-risking investment, creates certainty and clarity for projects, and advances meaningful societal outcomes for all.

We encourage you to engage with First Nations as early as possible in the planning stages to build relationships and to share information that may support the consultation processes. Our team is also available to help facilitate engagement with First Nations communities in B.C.

Meaningful Societal Outcomes

B.C. partners with Indigenous peoples and organizations on a variety of programs and services that seek to improve the socio-economic conditions and outcomes in Indigenous communities. These programs and services seek to facilitate Indigenous self-determination through the preservation and promotion of Indigenous languages, cultures and heritage; the advancement of meaningful economic development and business opportunities; and the enhancement of Indigenous governments’ fiscal capacities, among other objectives.

Partners in Business

There are many examples of First Nations and businesses working in partnership all throughout B.C. But how do those partnerships develop? What steps were taken to build a foundation of success? In this video, we hear from First Nation and business leaders about some of the keys to partnership development, including communication, consultation, and consensus-building.

Explore First Nations Communities in B.C.

Cariboo
Kootenay
Lower Mainland/Southwest
Nechako
North Coast
Northeast
Thompson/Okanagan
Vancouver Island and Coast

Indigenous Organizations

British Columbia Assembly
of First Nations (BCAFN)


The BCAFN is a progressive and innovative group representing and advocating for the 203 First Nations in B.C., working towards self-sufficiency and vibrancy.

Indigenous Business
Investment Council of BC


The IBIC is working on economic reconciliation and well-being for Indigenous peoples in B.C. It serves as an advisory council to the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation.

Connect With A Community Liaison

Discover the benefits and opportunities of working with Indigenous peoples and businesses within the First Nations communities of British Columbia. Connect with a community liaison to learn more.