Economic Development Strategy and Resources

Presenting organization: BC Assembly of First Nations 


Since 2016 the BCAFN has been working toward the Sustainable Economic Development Strategy. A number of initiatives have been underway to advance this work, and this workshop provides an update of how this initiative has progressed, and what the outcomes have been. This workshop will also discuss the broader strategy, and how the work to date fits in with the growing sustainable economies for First Nations.

What Participants will learn

Participants will gain an understanding of the work done over the last few years in the development of the strategy and the resources that have been created. An in-depth review of the BCAFN Black Books will be done, and an update on the regional sessions currently taking place throughout the province will be explained. Participants will learn about the opportunities that exist for First Nations related to Economic Development, and how the strategy and resources provide a provincial direction while allowing for First Nations autonomy on the subject.


  • Jaime Sanchez, Special Advisor to the Regional Chief
  • Derek Hansom, Economic Development Policy Analyst

Presenter Biographies

Jaime has spent over 10 years working with First Nations in BC focused on building capacity, policy and strategic advice, natural resource management and negotiations with the Crown and industry.  Some of his accomplishments include establishing a centralized mapping office, providing certified aboriginal land use planning training, co-designed and delivered a First Nations Referrals Officer Program, as well as assisting with multi-million-dollar negotiations for energy projects and reconciliation agreements.

Jaime has also co-facilitated the creation of the BC First Nations Forestry Action Plan, and the BC First Nations Mineral Exploration and Mining Action Plan; more recently he has been working with First Nations in northern BC in negotiations related to reconciliation, and natural gas pipeline developments.  He has worked for, among others, the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council, BC First Nations Technology Council, BC Aboriginal Mine and Training Association, Nadleh Whut’en First Nation and Musqueam Indian Band.  Jaime is a Registered Professional Planner (RPP), and Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP), having graduated from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) in 2005 with a degree in Environmental Planning, with a focus on First Nations Community Planning.

Derek has spent the last 20 years working in non profit Aboriginal organizations. 6 years of this involved the engagement of Aboriginal people and communities in restructuring child and family services. Hearing from experiences and input to transform the way these services could be provided. He had spent another 6 years working with a delegated aboriginal agency in a couple different roles. Following the start of his MBA schooling in 2014, he joined Coast Educational Development And Research, continuing his passion for working with First Nations and Aboriginal people, now with a stronger focus on individual and community development through education, training and employment.  More recently, he has worked at the Tribal Council level on projects related to Youth Services, Tourism, and the Additions to Reserve process. As well, he has maintained his involvement with the Beedie School of Business, leading and co-instructing courses that provide insight to MBA students about business with Indigenous peoples. 

He is in his second term as an elected Councillor for Skowkale First Nation, holding portfolios that include Health, Education and Child and Family Services. He represents his community at tables that include environmental services, economic development, and the Ts’elxweyeqw Tribe.  Prior to this move into politics, he sat on the Board of Sto:lo Service Agency as part of the first non political group overseeing the agencies operations.