Indigenous Prosperity Centre

About the Project

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for the Indigenous economy — its workers, businesses and members — to diversify and increase resilience to take advantage of economic opportunities and better withstand financial shocks. This call to action was initially raised by the Rising Economy Taskforce’s Indigenous Economy Committee and emphasized in Reboot: Greater Victoria’s Economic Recovery Plan, a multi-sector report released by South Island Prosperity Partnership (SIPP) and the Rising Economy Taskforce in November 2020.

To address this need, the Indigenous Economy Committee recommended that an Indigenous owned and directed Indigenous Economic Development Office for South Vancouver Island be incubated and spun-off.

“The pandemic has highlighted the need for the Indigenous economy — its workers, businesses and members — to diversify and increase resilience.” – Indigenous Economy Committee Report, August 2020

Based on this recommendation, South Island Prosperity Partnership is collaborating with South Island First Nations, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre and the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria to establish an Indigenous Prosperity Centre (IPC) for southern Vancouver Island.

The Vital Role of the Indigenous Prosperity Centre

The current vision is that the IPC will augment and amplify economic and workforce development activities taken at an individual Nation level as requested, providing essential services to smaller Nations that cannot currently support these services. Specific roles of the IPC might include support for:

  • enhanced cooperation and communication among Indigenous communities
  • coordinated joint initiatives such as procurement bids or training initiatives
  • up-skilling (such as project management skills) and leadership training, possibly delivered through micro-credential programs
  • identification and pursuit of government and industry procurement opportunities
  • design and launch of an Indigenous centralized employment agency, which would support, for example, digital job boards and job matching

Ten South Island First Nations — Esquimalt, Songhees, Tsawout, Tsartlip, Tseycum, Beecher Bay, T’Sou-ke, Pacheedaht, Pauquachin and Malahat — have been invited to direct the governance of the IPC along with the Victoria Native Friendship Centre, the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria and SIPP, which will incubate the centre.

The IPC seeks partnerships with the B.C. government, the federal government, local municipalities and industry.

Taking Action for a Stronger Economic Future

As we work to establish the IPC and meet its objectives, it is vital to meet the challenges associated with infrastructure, upskilling, administration, promotion, and resourcing with:

  • a plan to better integrate Indigenous businesses and the young and growing workforce into the broader economy
  • increased sharing of best practices among Indigenous communities and businesses

To learn more about the IPC and its development, please email office@southislandprosperity.ca

Work to Date

October, 2020

  • The working group began meeting in October 2020 to explore how to initiate the recommendations of the Indigenous Economy Committee Report.

November, 2020

December, 2020

  • Invitations to guide the development of the IPC and provide feedback are sent to 10 South Island First Nations, the Victoria Native Friendship Centre and the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria.

March, 2021

  • The initial working group is identifying resources to support engagement with South Island leadership to direct the development of the centre and produce a business plan.