For Indigenous Economic Prosperity on Southern Vancouver Island
“The pandemic has highlighted the need for the Indigenous economy — its workers, businesses and members — to diversify and increase resilience.”
– Indigenous Economy Committee Report, August 2020
This call to action was raised by the Rising Economy Taskforce’s Indigenous Economy Committee and emphasized in Reboot: Greater Victoria’s Economic Recovery Plan, a multi-sector report released by South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) and the Rising Economy Taskforce in November 2020.
To answer this call to action, the Indigenous Economy Committee recommended that a made-for and led-by Indigenous Economic Development Centre for Southern Vancouver Island be incubated and spun-off.
Based on this recommendation, South Island Prosperity Partnership is collaborating with South Island First Nations, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, and the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria to establish an Indigenous Prosperity Centre (IPC) for South Vancouver Island.
Prosperity Through Recovery
As we work to establish the Indigenous Prosperity Centre and meet its objectives, it is vital to meet the challenges associated with infrastructure, upskilling, administration, promotion and resourcing with:
- a plan to better integrate Indigenous businesses and the young and growing workforce into the broader economy
- increased sharing of best practices among Indigenous communities and businesses.
Mission & Goals
What challenges might the IPC solve?
The approach and scope of the IPC will be developed with Indigenous leadership over the coming months. The current vision is that the IPC will augment and amplify current and future economic and workforce development activities taken at an individual Nation level as requested, providing essential services to smaller Nations that cannot currently support these services. Possible activities of the IPC put forward by the Indigenous Economy Committee include:
- Enhancing cooperation and communication among Indigenous communities
- Coordinating joint initiatives such as procurement bids or training initiatives
- Upskilling (such as project management skills) and leadership training, possibly delivered through micro-credential programs
- Identifying and pursuing government and industry procurement opportunities
- Building a business case for an Indigenous centralized employment agency, which would support, for example, digital job boards and job matching.
“The South Island economy is an ecosystem. For it to thrive, interconnections need to be strong and inclusive. The Indigenous Prosperity Centre will strengthen connections with First Nations and Indigenous businesses and workers.”
– Christina Clarke, Chair, Indigenous Economy Committee
Strength through partnerships
Ten South Island First Nations — Esquimalt, Songhees, Tsawout, Tsartlip, Tseycum, Beecher Bay, T’Sou-ke, Pacheedaht, Pauquachin and Malahat — have been invited to direct the governance of the Indigenous Prosperity Centre along with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria and South Island Prosperity Partnership, which will incubate the Centre.
Official engagement to support the development of the governance model and business plan begins in the spring of 2021.
The IPC seeks partnerships with the B.C. government, the federal government, local municipalities and industry.
Who we Are
The South Island Prosperity Partnership, a regional economic development alliance serving Southern Vancouver Island, is leading the incubation of the IPC. An initial working group is supporting early efforts and future phases will work with consultants to support engagement and business plan development. It is anticipated that the overall direction for the IPC will be guided by an Indigenous Prosperity Centre Advisory Roundtable that will provide support, stewardship and direction for the Centre.
Where We Are
We are grateful to be doing our work on the territories of the Coast Salish and Nuu- chah-nulth peoples.
These are the Lək̓ wəŋən speaking peoples (Xwsepsum [Esquimalt] and Songhees Nations), the W̱ SÁNEĆ Nations (SȾÁUTW̱ – Tsawout, BOḰEĆEN – Pauquachin, W̱ JOȽEȽP – Tsartlip, W̱ SIḴEM –Tseycum and MÁLEXEȽ – Malahat Nations), Scia’new Nation (Beecher Bay), T’Sou-ke Nation, and Pacheedaht Nation.
We respect and honour the Indigenous peoples who have thrived for millennia as the innovators, traders and stewards on these lands. We strive to work in partnership with them.
We will update this page regularly as the development of the Indigenous Prosperity Centre continues to move forward.
An initial working group began meeting in October 2020 to explore how to initiate the recommendations of the Indigenous Economy Committee Report.
Incubating and launching the IPC is a key recommendation outlined in Reboot: Greater Victoria’s Recovery Strategy.
Invitations to guide the development of the IPC and provide feedback are sent to 10 South Island First Nations, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre and the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria.
The initial working group is identifying resources to support engagement with South Island leadership to direct the development of the centre and produce a business plan. A Request for Proposals to develop the initial governance model and business plan is released.
Phase 1 of developing the IPC begins.