Coastal First Nations
The Coastal First Nations is an alliance of First Nations on British Columbia’s North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii. The Coastal First Nations include Wuikinuxv Nation, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xaixais, Nuxalk Nation, Gitga’at, Metlakatla, Old Massett, Skidegate, and Council of the Haida Nation.
For thousands of years First Nations carefully managed the abundance of natural resources in the sea and on the land by relying on our knowledge of seasonal cycles to harvest a wide variety of resources without harming or depleting them. Many believed the abundance of natural resources on BC’s coast would last forever. They were wrong. For those of us who live in coastal communities the cost of industrial exploitation has been enormous. The most obvious cost is the depletion of forests and fish. It’s clear an economy based on exploitation of natural resources is no longer viable.
For the past decade the Coastal First Nations has charted a course that has strengthened the connections between our communities, our environment, and our economy. The Coastal First Nations model supports the re-emergence of a sustainable economy while taking into account the cultural and ecological diversity of the Great Bear Rainforest.
We have developed land use plans that provide ecosystem-based management over our Traditional Territories, created conservancy areas and special protection areas. Our communities are also in the process of developing marine use plans, implementing economic opportunities in renewable energy, carbon credits, forestry, ecotourism, non-timber forest products and shellfish aquaculture.