Publications

The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) has published a number of reports and discussion papers on current and urgent issues. See the list below:

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First Nations Carbon: A BCAFN Discussion Paper (2022)


The rights of First Nations in BC are land-based Aboriginal rights. First Nations communities in BC have the right to the carbon stored and absorbed in their territories and the potential revenues related to such carbon. This discussion paper will demystify carbon for First Nations in BC. What is carbon? What are First Nation rights with regard to carbon? How do carbon offsets work and how can First Nations in BC benefit from them?

First Nations Carbon: A BCAFN Discussion Paper PDF

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Cannabis Tool Kit (2021)

This tool kit provides information and resources regarding the legalization and economic development aspects of cannabis from a First Nations perspective. The Cannabis Tool Kit is composed of four parts. First, a discussion paper on First Nations Stories of Economic Development and Cannabis explores a number of cases studies from First Nations people and Nations and provides a high-level view of the landscape. Next, an in depth-legal memo introduces a more nuanced understanding of the legal and economic challenges and opportunities First Nations are faced with. Finally, two draft template pieces are put forward for discussion and as a potential jumping off point for Nations who are exploring how they may wish to regulate, make agreements, or make laws with respect to cannabis in their territories.

The opportunity to continue the dialogue, collaborate, and gain strength through the sharing of our stories and expertise is an exciting one, as First Nations press to participate in and occupy the emergent cannabis sector. We look forward to supporting First Nations as they determine their path forward on cannabis governance and economic development.

Cannabis Tool Kit PDF

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Centering First Nations Concepts of WellbeingToward a GDP-Alternative Index in British Columbia (2020)

This discussion paper explores the ways in which our official BC measures of economic value are inadequate and fail to reflect the values of First Nations governments and individuals to the overall wellbeing of the province.

BC, like Canada and most countries around the world, currently measures economic growth using gross domestic product (GDP). GDP is a crude proxy for gauging economic wellbeing in that it essentially measures only national income. However, countries around the world are increasingly adopting new indices of wellbeing that measure economic income, plus a full suite of indicators such as the environment, culture, safety, leisure time, health, and education. These wellbeing indices measures are remarkably similar to those held by BC Indigenous peoples.

Indigenous peoples in BC already have a sophisticated concept of what constitutes a “good life”, a conception and way of living that has been refined over millennia and that varies within each culture, place, and language. An Indigenous good life is one that is “richer” with, for example, clean air, regenerative wild fisheries and forests, socially healthy families, the passing-down of cultural values and language, excellent education, respect for traditions that value Elders and living Indigenous knowledge, a responsive health care system, and a natural environment that sustains our collective wellbeing and species.

Given the global trend in GDP-alternative measures, and considering the need for a productive and efficient COVID-19 recovery, there is an opportunity for BC to develop its own made-in-BC wellbeing index that considers Indigenous knowledge of environmental, health, education, community and cultural outcomes in order to improve the livelihoods of all British Columbians.

Centering First Nations Concepts of Wellbeing PDF

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The Economic Development Toolkit (2019)

This toolkit has been developed to support Indigenous communities and Nations in participating in this extraordinary growth and to provide communities, at all stages of the economic development journey, with resources to support their planning, growth and overall development.

Blackbook PDF

Tips, Tools and Techniques Toolkit
This companion document to the Economic Development Toolkit provides a wide range of useful resources. Building from the content in the Economic Development Toolkit, this toolkit will provide hands-on, useful resources for acting on what has been already presented, and creating a more complete “Blackbook”.

Tips, Tools and Techniques Toolkit PDF

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BCAFN Governance Toolkit: A Guide to Nation-Building (2014)

Developed in accordance with the former Regional Chief, Jody Wilson-Raybould’s Building on OUR Success action plan. The Governance Toolkit is a comprehensive guide intended to assist your Nation in building or rebuilding governance and navigating its way out from under the Indian Act at its own pace and based on its own priorities. Please see the below links to access the three volumes of the Governance Toolkit.