How First Nations Guardians Defend British Columbia's Fragile Coast


B.C.'s Central Coast houses the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest intact temperate rainforest left in the world. Attracting environmentalists, tourists, big game hunters, and natural resource developers from all over the globe, this fragile and much-coveted ecosystem has been home to First Nations for over 10,000 years.

But full-time, sustainable employment is sparse in the region's scattered communities. The lack of economic options prompted seven First Nations along the Central and North Coasts–including the Wuikinuxv, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xaixais, Nuxalk, Gitga'at, Metlakatla, Haida and, until last year, the Haisla Nation–to come together in 2000 to form the Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative (CFN GBI) to improve access to their traditional territories and unlock its economic opportunities.

Six years later, the B.C. government took steps to protect both the vulnerable rainforest and the interests of its First Nations, environmentalists, and industry, through Central Coast and North Coast Land and Resource Management Plans covering 6.4 million hectares of land...

Resource Type

Hyslop, Katie. "How First Nations Guardians Defend British Columbia's Fragile Coast." Indian Country Today Media Network. December 16, 2013. Article. (, accessed December 16, 2013)