Vancouver Sun – Coastal First Nations on front line of guarding the environment.

By Marilyn Slett.

For almost two decades the First Nations on B.C.’s central and north coast and Haida Gwaii have been working toward rebuilding a healthy coastal economy.

Coastal First Nations — Great Bear Initiative (CFN) was established to help create a turning point in the environmental and economic relationship between First Nations and non-indigenous society. What progress has been made over this period?

Today, the question of our aboriginal rights and title are clearer than ever before. The power comes from our people and communities and the responsibility to maintain and protect the lands, water and resources within traditional territories.

We have strengthened the connections between our communities, our environment, and our economy. Coastal First Nations support the re-emergence of a conservation-based economy while taking into account the cultural and ecological diversity of our territories. Our communities led the campaign to protect the Great Bear Rainforest and plans are well advanced to similarly protect the ocean environment from northern Vancouver Island to Alaska.

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