Monday May 16, 2016 


Native News

First Nation Investment

New Aboriginal business website promotes opportunities

Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training/BCABIC website images



he B.C. Aboriginal Business and Investment Council (ABIC) has launched a new, updated website to make it easier to do business with First Nations companies and promote economic development among Aboriginal communities.

The website - - can be accessed by smartphones and other handheld devices, allowing it to reach a larger audience and attract a younger population. The website features an updated resource centre, a collection of online links and tools that support Aboriginal economic development throughout British Columbia.

“We are anticipating a time of incredible growth in our province with many economic opportunities on the horizon. The new ABIC website will appeal to a wider audience and make it easier for First Nations business and communities to get the information they need and to take advantage of the benefits that our growing economy will generate. I want to thank the ABIC board, both returning and new members, on the important work they do to help increase Aboriginal participation in our diverse, strong and growing economy,” said Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour.

Chief Lheidli T'enneh First Nation, Prince George.

The updated site also includes the First Nations Economic Development Database (FNEDD), which has more than 1,200 businesses and potential business partners registered. The comprehensive database is the first of its kind, developed by ABIC in partnership with the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training to track a wide range of economic activities. As well, the new site includes videos and success stories highlighting the stories of First Nations businesses throughout the province.

“The Aboriginal Business and Investment Council is an important partner with the Province in advancing reconciliation through economic development in First Nation communities. The council is doing an excellent job fostering innovative partnerships and new business opportunities, to the benefit of First Nations, industry and all British Columbians,” said John Rustad, Minister for Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation.

The website update comes on the heels of ABIC renewing its mandate. ABIC’s mandate, to help increase Aboriginal participation in the economy by encouraging economic growth among First Nations communities, was renewed for two more years until Jan. 31, 2018. Eleven board members have been reappointed, including Chief Councillor Ellis Ross of the Haisla First Nation, who is chair of the ABIC board.

Founded in 2011, Indigena is a First Nations-owned IT and business process services provider operating a Business Solutions Technology Delivery Centre.

“The new website looks great. Because it’s easier to navigate on a smartphone or tablet, the website will reach a larger audience, especially the growing First Nations youth population. And I’m pleased to see Obie Erickson and Willie Sellars join the ABIC board and look forward to working with them,” said Ellis Ross, chair of the Aboriginal Business and Investment Council.

In addition, ABIC is welcoming two new board members: Obie Erickson and Willie Sellars. Erickson is president of Canadian operations for Britco, one of North America’s largest modular construction companies, which has several First Nations business partnerships. Sellars, a member of the Williams Lake Indian Band (WLIB) of the Secwepemc Nation, is also the special projects coordinator in the WLIB Economic Development Department.

As outlined in the BC Jobs Plan, the Province is committed to working with Aboriginal peoples and First Nations to strengthen communities and share in the growth of the provincial economy.

Learn More:

Aboriginal Business and Investment Council

First Nations Economic Development Database.

BC Jobs Plan



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