by Clayton



As we move through the Fall months, we’re keen to share some updates on our work.

In our last newsletter (Summer 2023), we highlighted some projects and recently secured funding plus highlighted some key partnerships driving our collective work forward.

We organize and manage this work within four key focus areas:

  1. Learning
  2. FNBDA Member Engagement
  3. Economic Sector Re-structuring
  4. Supporting and Building Investment Opportunities

Strategic Learning Partnerships

Early in the summer, we put out a request for Expressions of Interest to BC-based post-secondary institutions to work with the FNBDA and our membership to develop and deliver a micro-credential training program. We received some excellent responses from several post-secondary institutions.

What’s a micro-credential?

Micro-credential programs are generally highly focused, responding to workplace needs, and shorter in duration than standard academic programs. These credentials are records of learning which validate specific skills and are awarded by credible providers, designed to stand alone or supplement other qualifications within established quality standards.

In 2021, the BC government released a Micro-credential Framework. In the spring of 2023, they released the StrongerBC: Future Ready Action Plan, which outlines priorities for rapid response and short-term training which responds quickly to labour market needs and a quickly changing economy.

Micro-credentials can be exactly that – as well as designed to ladder into certificates, diplomas and degrees.

MOU with Simon Fraser University

In September, we signed an MOU with Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) Beedie School of Business.

This MOU focuses on establishing a micro-credential training program with a specific focus on increasing capacity and training for First Nations community members in the operation, leadership and support of First Nations-owned Development Corporations.

This will include a micro-credentials program designed to meet the specific needs of First Nation Development Corporations in BC, ensuring we provide professional, culturally relevant and organizationally relevant education for sustainable growth.

Stay tuned for updates as this exciting program develops.

First Nation Development Corporation Engagement Pathways

There are now over 40+ member organizations in the FNBDA. Our membership is very diverse in their operations, geographic operating areas, and development activities.

We recognize that many First Nation communities are also in earlier stages such as looking to establish a Development Corporation, maybe rekindle one that has languished, or looking to expand operations.

With this in mind, we have been developing a program and securing partners and funding for a tailored support program called the Development Corporation Engagement Pathway.

This is a support program provided by FNBDA (and partners) intended to meet your organization or Nation where you’re at with your Dev Corp and assist you through a series of steps from initial assessment to ongoing development and support.

This pathway will include:

  • business governance reviews
  • leadership meetings
  • actionable follow-up recommendations, and
  • ongoing support as needed.

This initiative is intended to support member organizations with the tools to thrive such as assessment and capacity support tools, planning resources, policy guides, and access to investment opportunities.

We also recognize that staffing, staff capacity, securing Board members, and responding to economic opportunities are common challenges. We continue to secure and build resources to assist you with these challenges.

If your Economic Development team, Dev Corp, or Nation is in these earlier stages of development please reach out to our team to discuss the Engagement Pathways initiative.

Collaborative Agreements for Economic Development

In our last newsletter, we shared that we had signed a collaborative MOU with InnovateBC and InvestBC (InBC).

We are also working on a collaboration agreement with the Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation’s (JEDI) Trade and Industry Development Division. This partnership is proposed to build on mutual goals of nurturing economic prosperity within First Nations communities, ensuring that growth is in harmony with our cultural, spiritual, and environmental principles.

The collaborative efforts with JEDI and agreements with InnovateBC and InBC are foundational to our strategy for re-structuring the economic sector as well as increasing investment opportunities—all while respecting our community and cultural values.

Ongoing Outreach and Engagement

Our Regional Business Liaisons, funded by Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) and Island Coast Economic Trust (ICET), Trevor Cootes (Vancouver Island and Coast) and David Loewen (northern and north-central BC), are actively engaging with our current membership and reaching out to First Nation communities and organizations that may become future members.

Their outreach and engagement are integral to our growth and the support network we provide. We encourage you to connect with Trevor and David to learn more about how the FNBDA can support your development corporation or community.

Business Governance Platform

The FNBDA is working with Animikii, an Indigenous technology firm to explore the potential development of a web-based business governance platform. We have kicked off the first phase of the pathfinding project where we defined high-level goals and outcomes of the proposed platform.

Phase 2 will focus on the user (FNBDA membership, community members, and the FNBDA) to better define and understand the needs of the various audiences the platform will serve. If you are interested in participating or would like to learn more about the business governance platform and the pathfinding project, please contact Clayton Schroeder at

Your Role in Our Collective Progress

Your engagement is key to the success of our initiatives. We encourage you to stay connected through our website (updated version coming soon) and Follow our LinkedIn page to keep abreast of our continued updates and opportunities.

As the year progresses, anticipate more collaborative projects aligning with our shared growth, learning, and sustainable economic independence objectives.

If you are receiving this update and your Nation’s Development Corporation or Economic Development team is not a member of our Association – please join!

Membership is Free for First Nation organizations. As a member, you can participate directly in FNBDA activities and capacity-building events.

We welcome your input, invite your participation in our surveys, and encourage your workshop attendance.


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