Tla-o-qui-aht - Economic Development 2015
TFN's Economic development strategy is to invest in opportunities within its territory that create wealth, create and sustain jobs and assist member entrepreneurs. The Nations' EDC is charged with the responsibility of implementing this strategy. Its EDC has a 5 person management board and an Economic Development Officer.
Investment to Create Wealth
The Nation's Economic investment strategy has since 2007 focused on investing in renewable energy. The guiding principles of this strategy are that all renewable energy projects within its traditional territory be sustainable, environmentally sound, provide a significant return on investment and be owned and controlled by the Nations. To that end the TFN through its EDC is investing $50 Million dollars in 3 run-of-the-river Projects at Canoe, Haa-ak-suuk and Winchie Creeks; is in the process of developing 4 more projects worth $96 Million within its territory. TFN, as part of its long term renewable energy development strategy is also looking to partner with others to acquire and develop projects on Vancouver Island. It is expected that TN's investment in renewable energy will approach $215 Million dollars by 2025.
Investment to Create Jobs
Tourism is the mainstay of the region's economy. TFN owns and operates the 80 room Tin Wis Resort with up to 50 employees during the summer season. Maintaining and improving this investment is key to retaining the jobs it currently provides for TFN. The EDC is looking at a number of potential acquisitions and partnerships of properties along the Tofino West Coast offering additional employment opportunities for TFN members. The value of this investment is estimated in excess of $20 Million Dollars.
Forestry is cautiously providing job opportunities in TFN's traditional territory. Following the principles guiding TFN's investment strategy, the harvesting of timber in TFN's traditional territory must be environmentally sound, sustainable and mindful of the values of the Nations. Through Iisaak Forest Products, a company owned and operated by a number of NFNs, TFN being one, a program that ultimately will create jobs in industries that add value to the fiber that is removed from the land.
Stewardship of the Ha Houthlee through TFN's Tribal Parks Department has been encouraged through EDC's involvement. Guiding, interpretive tours, transportation and hosting of visitors to the Tribal parks by Parks personnel add to the employment opportunities of young TFN members. A modest investment with the help of Nu-cha-nulth Economic Development Corporation in 2013 has helped make this possible.
Seafood has for thousands of years sustained the Tla-o-qui-aht. TFN Seafood LTD. Formed in 2012 to create a sustainable commercial fishing enterprise that will not only benefit the fishers in the community, but bring a sense of pride to the fishing culture of the Tla-o-qui-aht Nations people. With a small operation/management team TFNS along with its processing partner will support the activities of member fishers during the fishing season. The long term goal is to build a place in the industry for TFN.
Investment in Entrepreneurship
With the investment in the renewable energy industry TFN creates opportunities for its members to participate by supplying labour, equipment and expertise during the construction phase. THE EDC supports Individual entrepreneurial initiatives by providing advisory services and business planning services helping existing and new entrepreneurs to participate in this economy in particular and the mainstream economy in general.