This survey is designed for an Economic Development Manager working for an Indigenous community

The BC Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) is a political-territorial organization representing all 203 First Nations in British Columbia with a mandate to:
  • Advance the rights and interests of First Nations people in British Columbia;
  • Restore and enhance the relationship among First Nations people in British Columbia, the Crown, and the people of Canada;
  • Develop and promote policies and resources for the benefit of First Nations people in British Columbia including, but not limited to, economic, social, education, health, and cultural matters; and,
  • Work in coalition with other organizations that advance the rights and interests of Indigenous People.
To this end, the Sustainable Economic Development and Fiscal Relations Strategy is a multi-year initiative undertaken by the BCAFN to support Indigenous communities in British Columbia in their economic pursuits by delivering timely and relevant information, building capacity through education, and creating windows of business and economic opportunity through ongoing advocacy.

As part of the Sustainable Economic Development and Fiscal Relations Strategy, and building on the Governance Toolkit – A Guide to Nation Building, undertaken by former Regional Chief Jody Wilson-Raybould, the BCAFN is developing an Economic Development Toolkit, or “Black Books”. The Black Books will provide information and tools for Indigenous communities, governments, and entrepreneurs to grow a First Nations economy in their communities.

The objective of this survey is to gather relevant input from those who are working on-the- ground in Indigenous communities to be integrated into the Black Books. Gathering this information will ensure that the Toolkit is relevant, contemporary and useful.

Your Answers: Please enter an answer for each row of the survey. If you feel more explanation is needed the 'other' section of each question is available for written answers. The answers provided on the scale are weighted as:

Not at all (0 points)
Maybe, but not sure (1 point)
Yes, somewhat agree (2 points)
Definitively agree (3 points)

Please Note: The data collected through this survey will be kept anonymous and confidential unless express permission is given by the survey participant to use information with proper attribution (see last 2 questions of survey).  If permission is granted, Information from individuals will not be attributed as coming 'on behalf of' a Nation but may identify the individual as belonging to or working for a Nation.

* 1. map

Which BC Economic Development Region does your Nation fall under?

* 2. Is your Nation in a rural or urban setting? Or both?

* 3. Which Nation are you working for or developing business for? (confidential unless permission provided in the last 2 questions of this survey)

* 4. How would you best describe your role? Which of the following are part of your responsibilities?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Carry out the tasks and priorities as identified by Chief and Council
Promote community-owned businesses
Work with and deliver business training and mentoring to community members who are entrepreneurs, or interested in entrepreneurship
Act as community champions in motivating business activity within the community
Seek out economic opportunities for the community and community members
Provide resources to the community in terms of information, government programs, funding opportunities, economic opportunities, etc.
Proposal writing regarding RFPs and RFQs from government ministries, including monitoring program funding announcements on BC Bid and other sources

* 5. What resources do you have to help you deliver your responsibilities?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Participation in regional committees, organizations and associations that promote economic development
Attend conferences and workshops, including training workshops that can help me better deliver economic development to the community
Liaison with other Indigenous communities within the region
Use existing studies and manuals designed to facilitate Indigenous Ec Dev managers in my position

* 6. If there was an Economic Development Toolkit developed to help you better deliver the economic development results you are mandated with, what should it include?

* 7. What are the key roadblocks you come across in delivering economic development within your community?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Lack of funding for my position, staff and organization, which limits activities such as travel, promotion, opportunity research, etc.
Government support in terms of initiatives, programs and policies
Lack of, or minimal land base
Lack of interest, or apprehension from community members to go into business
Training available to me (and my staff)
Reporting and lines of authority regarding my position that impacts on my ability to act
Unrealistic expectations / targets regarding what results I am expected to produce
Communications issues with those I am responsible to, and / or with the community itself

* 8. How do you measure success?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Create new community jobs
Create new community enterprises
Number of inquiries I get from interested entrepreneurs within the community
Reasonable success rate in proposal writing and being awarded funds for initiatives
Being part of regional or multi-Indigenous community planning and projects
Reaching the targets and goals set by those I report to
Acknowledgement by the community and community members and recognition that I am a reliable resource person to approach
Being involved in planning and creating community-owned businesses
Helping community members, including those who are challenged and / or disadvantaged in achieving a degree of financial security and self sufficiency

* 9. What are the strongest economic sectors within your community?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Oil & Gas
Aquaculture (clams, oysters, geoducks, salmon, kelp, etc.)
Value added seafood (such as smoked salmon)
Foods, value added products
Value added forestry (such as furniture or log homes)
Eco or green technology, power, run of the river projects

* 10. Where do economic opportunities come from?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Proposed by Chief and Council
From parties outside your community who approach you
Community members come to me with a business idea
Existing community businesses interested in growing their business
Government or regional contracts or proposals and projects
Social accommodation (or social procurement), where government or regional projects or bids by non First Nations firms require a percentage of Indigenous employment or contracting with Indigenous businesses who supply of materials and services
Create our own opportunities through community engagement
Interaction with other Indigenous communities and networking with those parties involved in economic development

* 11. How do you work with community entrepreneurs, or those interested in entrepreneurship?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Provide business planning
Carry out feasibility and research
Connect them with project funders
Offer information and resources we have available within our own library and database
Connect them others who can assist them towards realizing their business goals
Where Band approvals are needed, help present these to Chief and Council for consideration
Offer seed funding to get them to their next level in their own feasibility and planning

* 12. What are the greatest needs of community entrepreneurs?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
Business entrepreneurial training
Mentoring and coaching
Better access to funds for their business
Business apprenticeship programs where they can learn from established Indigenous businesses
Understanding the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship
Being able to do business and build relationships outside the community
Understanding their own abilities and opportunities / capacity development
Online access, I.e. online business training and mentoring
An Economic Development Toolkit of information and business advice that would help them achieve their business goals

* 13. If there was an Economic Development Toolkit designed for community businesses, entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs, what should it include? How should it be delivered, I.e. in person, hard copy, online, social media?

* 14. How do you best describe your position?

  Not at all Maybe, but not sure Yes, somewhat agree Definitely agree
I have total independence in my decision making
I act on behalf of Chief and Council
I represent the community to outside parties
I actively seek out economic opportunities
I am responsible for marketing and promoting my community
I have the ability to take training courses, attend Indigenous conferences and enhance my ability to better deliver my mandate
I have a clear mandate and Ec Dev roadmap to follow
I have sufficient time to work with community businesses or would-be entrepreneurs

* 15. Will you provide permission for your answers to be shared, with proper attribution, to BCAFN?  If yes, please see question 16.  If no, your answers will be kept confidential.