Vancouver Sun

VANCOUVER, BC - Sept. 12/2002 - MAUREEN CHAPMAN, vice president of the Sto:lo Nation, a society representing 6,500 native people in 19 bands in the Fraser Valley. For city story by Ian Mulgrew. (ian lindsay/Vancouver Sun)  [PNG Merlin Archive]

Acting Regional Chief Maureen Chapman, B.C. Assembly of First Nations

B.C. First Nations see significant opportunities for economic development partnerships with business leaders in Asia-Pacific countries, the B.C. Assembly of First Nations say.

“British Columbia is still seen by business leaders in Asia-Pacific countries as a great place to invest. As the economic importance of the Asia-Pacific grows, B.C. First Nations face significant opportunities for economic development partnerships,” the Assembly’s Acting Regional Chief Maureen Chapman said.

Chapman, will be among the speakers in Vancouver next week as part of a forum to discuss partnerships and the reality of doing business with First Nations on First Nations territories.

The N2N Forum will provide an opportunity to showcase economic and business development priorities from First Nations perspectives. It will also provide a platform for government, industry, business and community leaders to learn about how all players can help address these priorities while working in partnership on resource development throughout British Columbia.

“Greater involvement of First Nations in conversations about sustainable economic development and major projects throughout B.C., and an understanding of the inescapable economic component of Title and Rights, will lessen the uncertainty around project approval and will lead to genuine partnerships based on trust,” said Chapman.

This will make B.C.’s reputation even stronger as a safe place for Asia-Pacific business leaders to invest.”

The goal of the Nation2Nation Events is to open up the conversation, invite industry and government, ask questions, and seek the answers together, said a spokesperson for the conference which is being co-hosted by the B.C. Assembly of First Nations and supported by the Business Council of British Columbia (BCBC) and Resource Works.

It’s not a question anymore if Aboriginals are doing business. It’s a question of how we do business with Aboriginal people and their Nations.”

“For decades, Chiefs and First Nations leaders have been calling for greater involvement in the resource enterprises which take place on their territories,” Chapman said. “In the past decade, more joint-ventures and First Nations owned companies have become active in the construction and operation of new resource businesses.”