Indigenous leaders, resource company CEOs, and the provincial government discuss ways to strengthen the province’s economy in a virtual event.
A panel at the BC Natural Resource Forum discussed bringing sustainable investment to British Columbia.
Chris Sankey, a Tsimshian entrepreneur who advises energy companies on engagement in First Nation communities, says investors are interested in working in a stable territory.
“I think that investors are more than happy to work with any local community as long as they know which party, which party that they are going to be dealing with, “ shared Sankey. “I think it’s indicative again to keep going back to making sure the First Nations the government are all aligned to attack investment.”
According to a BC economic in 2020, natural resources accounted for over 50 per cent of the province’s economic base, including forestry, agriculture, mining and energy jobs.
Another panel at the resources forum focused on decarbonization which aims to reduce outputs of greenhouse gases.
Lana Eagle, a director at non-profit Geoscience BC, shared how the data they found assisted Fort Nelson First Nation moves forward with the Tu Deh-Kah Geothermal Project in Northern BC. The first nation-owned project converted a depleted natural site into a renewable energy project scheduled to go online in 2025.
She stressed the importance of early engagement and sharing scientific data.
“It seems to me that these two things can work together to create an equitable situation for creating wealth and equitable situation managing resources within the territory of Indigenous people in BC,” she said.
The three-day forum will wrap up Thursday.