A new organization representing and advocating for B.C. First Nation development corporations was launched recently.
The First Nation Business Development Association (FN BDA) president and managing director Michael Bonshor of Vancouver said creating such an association has been on his mind for some time.
“My experience is that development corporations are operating at different levels in terms of their own experience, expertise and capacity. The idea in the long run is to help to raise the level of all First Nations business owned entities and development corporations so they are operating, functioning and succeeding in their territories.”
Bonshor has worked with and for First Nations-owned development corporations for more than 20 years.
With nearly 50 B.C First Nation development corporations already members of FN BDA, Bonshor is looking forward to welcoming further membership.
“There’s right now around 200 First Nations in B.C. and many, if not all, are undertaking some form of business activity and it’s primarily through their development corporations.”
British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) regional Chief Terry Teegee noted in a news release BCAFN is appreciative of the new initiative.
“First Nations across B.C. have expanded their business and economic activities in all sectors, and in many regions are lead economic players creating wealth and employment for their community members as well as others,” he stated. “The First Nation Business Development Association can play a key partnership role in the BCAFN’s economic development initiatives and opportunities moving forward.”
As restrictions due to COVID-19 continue to be lifted or eased across the province and country, Bonshor hopes FN BDA will be able to participate in helping shape what the economic recovery should look like.
“I think there will be the opportunity for our group to participate in some of those discussions I hope,” he said.