The Great Bear Business Corporation is an alliance of nine First Nations and councils that have come together to support stewardship and sustainable economic development in the Great Bear Rainforest. Members of the Great Bear Business Corporation alliance include Gitga’at Nation, Heiltsuk Nation, Kitasoo Band Council, Metlakatla First Nation, Nuxalk Nation, Old Massett Village Council, Skidegate Band Council, Wuikinuxv Nation, and the Council of the Haida Nation.
History and Mandate
For thousands of years, Coastal First Nations sustainably managed the fish, flora, and abundant natural resources of the Great Bear Rainforest. But industrial exploitation over the past century has decimated these resources and caused enormous economic and social harm in remote Coastal First Nation communities.
The Great Bear Business Corporation was incorporated in 2009 as the regional business entity for the First Nation members of the Great Bear Initiative Society. The corporation shareholders and the society members are the same First Nations. The intent of the Great Bear Business Corporation is to develop a conservation economy in the Traditional Territories of member First Nations, in order to create long-term meaningful local employment and generate revenues to support stewardship and conservation activities, community development, and self-determination goals.
The Great Bear Rainforest Region
The Great Bear Rainforest encompasses the North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii regions of British Columbia. This area is the unceded Traditional Territory of our First Nations and represents a quarter of the world’s surviving coastal temperate rainforest.
The ecosystem is the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world. It is home to grizzly bears, black bears, cougars, wolves, and the rare white-furred kermode, or Spirit Bear, as well as centuries-old western red cedars and a complex, bio-diverse ecosystem dependent on the recurrent upriver migration of salmon.
Since 2000, Coastal First Nations have been working together to create a model that supports local communities while ensuring the long-term future of the Great Bear Rainforest and its surrounding waters.
First Nations and Sustainable Industry
The Great Bear Initiative and the Great Bear Business Corporation were founded on the principle that the people who have lived in this region for thousands of years are the people best able to respect and preserve its biodiversity and its sustainable economic future.
The member First Nations of the Great Bear Business Corporation are committed to the conservation and stewardship of the forest and lands, waters, and air of the Great Bear Rainforest region. The businesses in this partnership take the best knowledge from modern science and combine it with traditional wisdom and practices to create a conservation economy.