Since CFN first came together in 2000, we’ve worked to forge a new approach to building a sustainable coastal economy for our communities and stewarding our land and sea resources.
A Coast-Wide United Front
The Coastal First Nations-Great Bear Initiative (formerly Turning Point) was envisioned two decades ago to assert First Nations leadership in creating a new conservation-based economy in our Traditional Territories.
By the late 1990s, the forest and ocean resources of our Traditional Territories were being rapidly depleted by heavy industrial logging and commercial fishing. Our region’s economy had dwindled, jobs were scarce and our communities were struggling. Operating in isolation, First Nations had little access to resources in our Traditional Territories and little say in how they were managed. It was clear a new approach was needed.
In early 2000, leaders from BC’s Central and North Coast and Haida Gwaii came together in a first meeting to address the harmful resource extraction practices encroaching on their Traditional Territories. By June that year, they signed the Declaration of First Nations of the North Pacific Coast. Three years later, in 2003, a coast-wide alliance was officially born.
Since that time, the CFN alliance has worked together to put in place a world-leading model of land and marine planning that incorporates Indigenous values and ecosystem-based management. Together, we established a network of Coastal Guardian Watchmen who protect our land and sea. And together, we launched the world’s largest, Indigenous-led forest carbon project to fund economic opportunities in our communities.
As a coastal alliance, we’ve worked to build a clean energy future, support award-winning businesses, support stewardship offices in every community, and combine First Nations Traditional Knowledge with modern science and research. Our efforts have been recognized at home and world-wide.
In 2016, Coastal First Nations received the Premiers Award for ecosystem-based management in the Great Bear Rainforest. The Grizzly Bear Foundation recognized our Nations’ work to advance the well-being of grizzly bears as a 2018 Grizzly Champion. In 2007, the World Wildlife Fund awarded CFN its global “Gift to the Earth” award for conservation of the Great Bear Rainforest. And in 2020, the Coastal Shellfish Corporation, started by CFN, received the coveted VanCity Sustainability Award from the BC Food Producers Association.
See the timeline below, and follow our journey through the years as we celebrate our milestones together.
CFN 20th Anniversary Milestones
2000 – Declaration of First Nations of the North Pacific Coast signed by coastal First Nations.
2001 – Historic agreement signed by CFN and BC to protect areas from industrial logging and introduce ecosystem-based forest management.
2002 – Land-use planning process by coastal First Nations begins.
2003 – CFN Nations and BC sign protocol to advance First Nation’s opportunities in aquaculture and commercial recreation.
2005 – Coastal Guardian Watchmen Network is formed.
2006 – Strategic Land Use Planning Agreements protect ecosystems, biodiversity and cultural heritage features.
2006 – Conservancies are created in BC Parks Act to prioritize First Nations social, ceremonial and cultural uses.
2007 – Great Bear Rainforest Essential Oils begins work to harvest non-timber forest products.
2007 – $120-million Coast Opportunity Funds set up to fund First Nations conservation and economy opportunities.
2009 – CFN Reconciliation Protocol with BC establishes First Nations access to forest carbon credit sales.
2010 – 1.9 million hectares of conservancies and biodiversity areas set aside in the Great Bear Rainforest territories.
2010 – Coastal First Nations launch campaign to stop Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline.
2011 – Great Bear Carbon Credit Corporation creates world’s largest, Indigenous-led forest carbon project.
2011 – Award-winning Coastal Shellfish Corporation established.
2011 – CFN Clean Energy Action Plan initiated.
2016 – Great Bear Rainforest Act protects 85 per cent of coastal rainforest.
2016 – Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline is rejected.
2016 – First Nations Marine Plans signed with BC.
2017 – Reconciliation tables established for co-management of land and sea resources.
2017 – Grizzly bear trophy hunt banned.
2018 – Crude Oil Tanker moratorium upheld for BC coast.
2020 – Fisheries Reconciliation Agreement signed by CFN members.