Economic Development Department
The Lheidli T’enneh Economic Development Department develops, implements, and manages economic opportunities and strategies. Working with Council, the Lheidli Economic Development Department focuses on projects that benefit the Lheidli Band and its members with respect to the values and needs of those same members.
With 4.5 million hectares of land under Title and Rights, many of these economic development opportunities are tied closely to Lheidli T’enneh land (mining, logging, etc.) In 2019, the Natural Resources Department was created and became its own department separate from Economic Development in order to focus on the referral process specifically for activities taking place on the land. Staff from both departments continue to work closely together however in order to develop potential business opportunities that align with Lheidli T’enneh values and knowledge systems.
Economic Development Manager-Rena Zatorski
Rena Zatorski is the Lheidli T’enneh Economic Development Manager. Her role focuses on the development, management, and governing of economic development initiatives as recommended by the leadership and council. When proponents seek to partner with Lheidli T’enneh with economic opportunities, Rena works with them to ensure these projects work within Title and Rights, yielding financial prosperity but more importantly equity.
Working with Lheidli T’enneh since 2017, Rena now puts her educational background to excellent use as the Band’s Economic Development Manager. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from UNBC and a Master’s Degree in Aboriginal Business and Leadership from Simon Fraser University. Prior to her current position, Rena worked in the Natural Resources Department where she coordinated referrals, employment and training, as well as capacity building for special projects. Her experience has given her insight and awareness into developing economic strategies for First Nation communities, helping to guide new investors with a focus on consent more than simply consultation.
Partnerships are the foundation of any economic development opportunity. These partnerships consist of funders, service providers, consultants, and education. By working together and sharing information and resources, these partners can help leverage opportunities for all those involved.
Please note the above is not an exhaustive list and may include additional partners. Lheidli T’enneh welcomes proposals to partner in economic development initiatives. If you are an interested investor, please contact our Executive Director at 250-963-8451, firstname.lastname@example.org
UNDRIP stands for the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Adopted by the General Assembly in 2007, this resolution states that:
“Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature.”
Officially adopted by the Province of BC in 2019, UNDRIP provides additional support and guidance for sustainable activities that take place on unceded Lheidli T’enneh territory.
Recognised in the UNDRIP, Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) is a specific right that pertains to indigenous peoples. It allows them to give or withhold consent to a project that may affect them or their territories. Once they have given their consent, they can withdraw it at any stage. Furthermore, FPIC enables them to negotiate the conditions under which the project will be designed, implemented, monitored and evaluated. This is also embedded within the universal right to self-determination.
This framework of consent is intended to establish a foundation of understanding for proponents wishing to partner with Lheidli T’enneh. According to FPIC’s website:
Lheidli T’enneh Economic Development Department